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Friday, October 5, 2018

More to learn



I was working on who knows what at my desk one day, and had a phone call to retrieve Laura from school. It was the end of the day; school busses were leaving, but I was asked to pick her up from her unit principal’s office.

In the morning, before school, she and three other students left the school grounds, a violation of school rules, crossed to a park and smoked a blunt. 

I am informed a blunt is a cigar sized wrapping, emptied of tobacco and filled with marijuana. They returned to school, high, and continued their day.This blunt also contained “White Out”, a synthetic marijuana. One girl had an adverse reaction, called 911, and the game was up.

The unit principal very kindly met me and took me to an office with Laura. A police man came in. Of course, possession is some degree of criminal. The officer said Laura had been very honest with him. Her consequence at this point is a ten day suspension with a recommendation to the superintendent for expulsion. The officer asked we come to police headquarters to discuss a diversion.

Diversion programs are used here in the juvenile courts. I am aware of them, but completely unfamiliar. They are intended to divert the offender from using drugs. We have an appointment Friday with the officer to say if Laura will join their diversion program, which, of course, she will.

She also has an expulsion hearing week after next. This is at the school. I understand the complete seriousness of what Laura did. My own brother died of the consequences of marijuana and angel dust, an animal narcotic. He was 28 years old. I get it.

Laura belongs in school; it is the center of her life. The amount of work she will miss up to October 18 is staggering. I cannot imagine recovering. Nevertheless, these are the rules and consequences that we signed at the beginning of the year. The prohibition of drugs and consequences for possession and use are there. I last recall actually skimming the hundred or so pages, back when Emily enrolled.

The Diversion meeting was today. It was straightforward. Laura must comply totally, or the arrest and drug charge will be referred to juvenile court. The diversion agreement is four months, ending on February 5th. We both signed.

The Expulsion hearing will be Monday, October 15th.

That’s it. The worst is over for me. Laura is just at the beginning.




41 comments:

  1. I am so sorry to hear this! The rules regarding marijuana are so messed up, from state to state. But they are still the rules/laws. Laura is a smart young woman and I think she will learn from this. I hope the cost is not too high.

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  2. My Dear Joanne, I am sorry you have this extra burden to deal with. Laura is smart and I'm sure she will realize, after the dust has settled, how fortunate she is to have you at her back. She is also smart enough to learn from this experience. Just hope she does. Blessings. Shelagh

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  3. Echoing the previous comments.
    You (and Laura) really do illustrate the purportedly Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times'. I hope you get some peaceful dullness soon. And healing and learning time.

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  4. There are many things to think about in life.

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  5. I am so sorry that another worry has befallen you and your family. I am hoping the school will take into account all the positives about Laura when making their decision. She is a good kid who made a very bad decision and hopefully she will learn from it.

    My granddaughter, who suffers from an anxiety illness, is going to cyber school for her senior year. She is doing very well and likes her teachers. It is an alternative that maybe Laura can look into.

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  6. oh poor Laura, I feel so badly for her, She is such a great human, she is good. I think that the school went a little overboard on this one, a warning would have sufficed with notification to parents. I am sure she feels terrible. I send my love.

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  7. Dear Joanne, I am so sorry to hear you and Laura are dealing with this awful mess. I've been there, done that and have the TShirt with one of mine. She is now an addictions counselling type person in a place like Betty Ford Center, so don't despair too much. Stories like this make me glad I live in Canada none the less.

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  8. Hari Om
    You know my heart and toughts are with you both... YAM xx

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  9. I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you both Joanne. I know Laura must be in agony as she awaits the verdict. Hopefully this will be a turning point for her in a good way.

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  10. I hope that things will work out for the better for you both soon.

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  11. Almost ten years ago I found myself in a very similar situation. In our case the (private) school wasn't so lenient; the situation required a change to the public one. We also sought out a local center dedicated to teenage substance abuse. After much stress and worry our story ended up having a happy ending. I hope yours does too.

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  12. So sorry, Joanne. Crap.

    I hope the program works.

    And I hope this will not derail your surgery.

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  13. Lots of good kids (myself included) did similar things in high school and we were simply lucky enough to not get caught. Please be gentle with Laura, these kinds of things happen and it sounds like her consequences will be severe enough at school. Poor girl. Most people make poor decisions as teens occasionally. Thank goodness the synthetic marijuana didn't do her Amy lasting physical harm....that was the scariest sounding part of this incident to me (I've heard horror stories about synthetic "marijuana").

    Hugs to you both.

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  14. we all do dumb things. I sure did. I don't agree with zero tolerance policies. it only handicaps kids. a punishment shouldn't handicap you. and there are different degrees of guilt. I'm mostly referring to the school policies here as the police have given Laura a path to no permanent record if she does the work.

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  15. Punishing kids by withholding education seems particularly cruel; expulsion is the wrong course of action. I feel badly for Laura.

    I didn't realize there was such a thing as synthetic pot. As a youth, I had no concept of the dangers of drugs. I just didn't get it. I think were I a teen now, I'd have done much the same thing as Laura and her friends did. Actually, I'm from the era of open-campus high school, so I'd imagine we'd have smoked that blunt during lunch in someone's car. It seems that kids who were high in class just got ignored by teachers. -don't know if that's good or bad.

    Thinking of you and Laura. xx

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  16. I put a lot of thought into putting this up. There are no consequences at home. The big hammer is the marijuana laws. I do not know how big a felony this amount constituted, but don't think it's necessary to find out at this point. The violation of school rules is adequate to me for disciplinary action, and knowing the penalty should have been adequate deterrent. The school needs to know where students are. I think diversion is brilliant; it can keep the charge of a felony a sealed record. I understand much of the reason Laura felt reckless, and hope we (the two of us) are addressing it. She's a teenager, by all means, and we'll make it to college, don't worry.

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  17. Joanne, I wish both you and Laura a good outcome from all of this! Thinking of you both! Take care.

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  18. Oh the things we do when we're young and immortal. I pray they don't expel her. She should be allowed to keep up with her work at home. They won't send her back to her mother.

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  19. I'm glad they discovered this when they did. If the other girl was sick that day it might have been Laura next. And we are always reading in the news what synthetic marijuana can do. I hope they will show her how it affects her brain. I wish her good luck.

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  20. Expulsion is an absurd consequence for this offence. She needs to be in school. Surly three teenagers sharing a blunt is not a felony.

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  21. I'm sorry you are going through this Joanne. I hope Laura complies with all she has to comply with for the next 4 months so it doesn't escalate into something more. My son had his "moments" in high school when he did reckless things, somewhat similar, but the charge was 3 days in detention and nothing that involved the court system (not that he was squeaky clean from that because there were some things he did that did get the courts involved). Hopefully it will be a wake up call for Laura that any action that might seem "innocent" at the time can totally snowball against someone and cause more trouble than it is worth. Let's hope she learned from it (took son a little to learn from it with the consequences) and at the end of the 4 months it will be the end of a learning experience that goes no further for her. Never "fun" to deal with these things.

    betty

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  22. I'm sorry to hear all that, but it's only right that the school is taking her drug use seriously and trying to nip it in the bud. I hope she manages to catch up with all the missing lessons.

    I'm sorry too to hear about your brother. What a tragic end to a young life.

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  23. I am sorry to hear this Joanne. Can they email Laura the school work ? Expulsion doesn't seem to be the right punishment as the student misses so much work ! Detention and more work or litter picking seems better to me !

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  24. Oh dear. A few minutes of "fun"? and a lifetime of repercussions. As BadPenny says, can she access the schoolwork and keep up at home? Is that allowed? I hope so.

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  25. So sad to read this. Punkin Head had his challenges too, sometimes we just have to slog through. Good luck with this.

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  26. That seems like a very severe reaction to me. Of course, we are about to legalize the stuff, so I have a different attitude. I hope she manages to keep up with her studies at home.

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  27. Hi, my name is Blake thanks. Don’t deadname me please

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Blake. Welcome. Just so you know, this post probably will come down shortly; it's intended to bring friends up to date. Please feel free to comment any time.

      Delete
  28. Joanne, I’m sorry this happened. It sounds like the expulsion, though overzealous, is a punishment for Laura. That, and the fact that you are being dragged into this.
    She seems like that kind of kid. She seems smart enough to learn with your good help from this bump.

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  29. A regrettable choice on Laura's part. I hope she doesn't get expelled for it. But actions do have consequences, which is a life lesson in itself. I've shed a few bitter tears myself over having to endure the consequences of stupid decisions I made in my youth.

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  30. Onward and upward, Laura. Examine it, learn from it, then get on with life.x

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  31. Banning them from school seems the wrong way to handle it. Wouldn't it be better for them to have to write a couple of extra, very long essays on how silly they'd been and how you don't always have to join in EVERYTHING.

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  32. So sorry to hear this. I'm hoping for the best for Laura. And for you.

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  33. All I could think was that “shit happens.” Pardon my language. Hope that Laura’s friend recovered. Hope that they learned some kind of lesson. Hope that both Laura and you can get back to being who you two are: smart women. We need more smart women in this world. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  34. Oh dear. You really don't need this right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the school will be lenient this time.

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  35. I'm sorry that Laura forgot her responsibilities...but cannot the school keep her up to date with coursework while she is suspended?

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  36. I am sorry to hear this. I hope that the school will be willing to help her keep up with schoolwork. No need to punish her twice over. I hope she is not expelled, it seems counter productive to me, assuming the school has any choice in the matter of what to do.

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  37. seconding Jenny's comment. Losing schoolwork/time will not help.

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  38. Hang in there, both of you. Suspension is ridiculous but i guess schools have to maintain some kind of order. I guess. Don’t think it’s super helpful, in this case. Expulsion would be useless. How would that help anybody? Thinking of you both.

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  39. Dear Joanne, it's so hard being a teenager today--so many "temptations" so much shallow advertising about what makes for happiness, so much fear threading it all together. It must be equally hard to be the person who is raising the teenager and trying to help her become a responsible adult. Back in the 1970s, when I was teaching in New Hampshire, the juniors I was teaching said they wished I were their age. (It was meant to a compliment.) I told them then that I wouldn't want to be because when I grew up in the '40s and '50 life was so much simpler for teenagers. Now it's forty years later and I feel even more deeply that life today asks too much, not only of teenagers, but of us all. Our country has lost its way; divisive partisanship; hatred, racism, fear. So much that stresses us if we truly care. And I suspect that Laura does care. I know for sure that you do. You always inspire me. Peace.

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  40. Somehow I missed this, and reading backwards lets me catch up. I'm sorry, and I bet she regrets that blunt too.

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