Does the War on Drugs Turn Adults into Monsters?

When you suspend a student for a year for NOT possessing or using drugs, you have allowed the war on drugs to make you insane and dangerous.

We keep getting more and more bizarre stories about how public schools act when students are accused of possession or use of drugs. For example, when a school came into possession of a student’s private journal, and read it, and found she wrote that she had used marijuana, I thought their response was insane and possibly criminal. But at least in that case, there was a strong possibility that the student had possessed or used an illegal drug at some point in her life.

Now we are getting to the point that you can get suspended for not possessing or using drugs! The war on drugs has morphed into the war on impure thoughts or words about drugs.

We see this in a story at the Daily Signal: “This 11-Year-Old Boy Was Suspended … for Bringing a Leaf to School.”

That’s right. An 11-year-old, who was in the gifted and talented program at his Virginia middle school, found a leaf that resembled a marijuana leaf. So he showed it to his fellow students claiming he had a marijuana leaf.

Naturally, since a kid carrying around a single marijuana leaf would prove he was about to light up and get high, the school authorities pounced.

The other students told school administrators, who in turn, searched the boy’s backpack and found the leaf in question, along with a lighter.

Bedford Middle School Assistant Principal Brian Wilson called the boy’s parents to let them know their son had been caught with drugs while on the school premises.

“He told me he had been seen in the bathroom with a marijuana leaf and lighter and that I needed to come quickly,” his mother said. The boy’s father recalled that, “During the hearing I asked Wilson, ‘What about the field test on the marijuana leaf?’” But the principal only stated that, “‘I’m not qualified to interpret the results of the field test.’”

The boy was charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court and suspended from school for 364 days.

Think about what it does to an 11-year-old’s life to be kicked out of school for a year? In what universe does that make him less likely to use drugs or more likely to respect authority. The only good thing you can say about it is that the boy got an early education in what kind of morons, criminals, and monsters rule our institutions.

Several months later, the family found out from the court prosecutor that the leaf had been field-tested three separate times and showed no traces of marijuana or any other illegal substance. As a result, the charges against the boy were dropped.

Several months later?

And then this:

But perhaps the most revealing information the family learned was that the school resource officer, Deputy M.M. Calohan, the person who accused the young boy of drug possession to begin with, knew the leaf was not marijuana, and recommended his suspension anyway.

This is because under the school guidelines at Bedford Middle School (and many other schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia) a student who possesses “lookalike” drugs can be punished as if he possessed the real thing.

I think the “lookalike” ban is excessive. But even if we leave that bit of insanity to the side, it was evil and criminal for Calohan to pretend to a juvenile court and to the parents that the son had possessed a marijuana leaf. The man should be facing criminal charges.

Then we come to the totalitarian thought-control nature of the punishment that the schools inflict on students.

Although the drug charges against the boy were dropped, the school still treated him like a criminal. Under the terms of the suspension, the 11-year-old is required to see a pediatric psychiatrist to be evaluated for substance abuse problems, and must attend an alternative school for troubled youth where he would be patted down and searched every morning for drugs. The boy’s parents were able to come to an agreement with the school system that allows their son to attend the alternative school online instead of in person. Moreover, he will still be on probation until this September.

The parents are suing the school in Federal court, but unless something actually happens to the decision-makers I doubt that a victory for the parents will do anything to restore sanity to our schools in their war on drugs through draconian zero-tolerance policies.

And again, if that school resource officer held back information like the story says, he should be facing jail time.

How did these monsters get control of places to which we are expected to entrust our children?