One student was arrested and “a very small number” of other Buffalo Creek Middle School students will likely face suspension — or possibly expulsion — after cocaine was discovered on the campus in October.
A 14-year-old boy, not identified by name because he is a juvenile, was arrested by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office on the school’s campus on Oct. 17 after it was reported the student was taking drugs on campus. The student, who admitted to using cocaine, was slurring his speech and was closing his eyes as if falling asleep, according to the report.
Before being taken to the juvenile detention center, the student was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for clearance.
The first offense for possession, use or being under the influence results in up to a 10-day suspension, according to the student code of conduct. It is not clear whether it was the student’s first offense or not.
For a second offense of possession, use or being under the influence, students are automatically suspended for up to 10 days and recommended for expulsion or reassignment to an alternative placement, according to the student code of conduct.
The arrest came to light a week later, and on Oct. 27, school Principal Dustin Dahlquist sent a message via a recorded phone call to parents about the incident, adding that a very small number of students were also disciplined.
Only the one student was arrested as a result of the incident, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.
It is unclear what type of discipline action the other students were given. In his message, Dahlquist said students’ privacy prevented him from saying more about the issues.
“What I do want you to know is that we take any kind of illegal activity on our campus extremely seriously, and the fact that this incident was brought to our attention and dealt with in an appropriate manner is an indication of our commitment to keeping our campus safe. Nothing is more important to the Buffalo Creek Middle School community than the safety and well being of our students and employees,” Dahlquist said in the message.
Student expulsions go before the school board for a final decision, but students’ names are withheld for privacy. The school board will meet twice in November, but it’s unclear whether it weigh in on any expulsions then.