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Wellington 7th-grader suspended after marijuana found


WELLINGTON — A seventh-grade student at McCormick Middle School was suspended after marijuana was allegedly found in his backpack.

Principal Tim Simpson said he searched the boy’s backpack Sept. 20, after receiving information from another student.

“I had a student come to me (and say) that on the bus that morning another student had taken a wrapped up ball of marijuana and showed it to him,” he said.

Simpson said the boy who reported the incident was scared and he pointed Simpson to where the marijuana was stored. He said the boy who had the marijuana was confronted, and police and his parents were called to the school.

Simpson said the boy didn’t argue when he was confronted with the drugs, which was verified as marijuana by police.

The seventh-grader was suspended for 10 days and recommended for an expulsion hearing, which Simpson said is standard for drug violations. The hearing has not been held.

Wellington police would not provide a copy of the police report, saying that the incident is still under investigation.

Simpson said finding drugs at the middle school is uncommon, however.

“In the five years that I’ve been principal here, this is only the second time that we’ve found drugs in (a student’s) possession,” he said.

Simpson said the school has been proactive in preventing drug use among its students with visits from Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, who speaks with the students.

An off-duty police officer began patrolling the district on the Monday following the drug discovery, but Simpson said the officer was not specifically hired to look for drugs.

He stressed the importance of students reporting such incidents.

“We try to get our kids to come forward if they know something, because it’s a safety issue,” he said. “We know that sometimes these drugs are manufactured and who knows what’s in it.”

On Sept. 24, a Wellington High School student was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and unruly juvenile after he allegedly ran away from his grandmother who came to pick him up at school.

The boy was found with a glass pipe containing marijuana residue after police located him four hours later on East Herrick Avenue, according to a police report.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.

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