Cracking down

Administration implements a new disciplinary regulation for illegal substances found on school grounds


Jordin Baker

As of this month, students caught with illegal substances on school grounds will be ticketed.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teen vaping and marijuana usage rates have increased in the past few years along with other illicit drug usage rates, such as opioids and other medicines. It is becoming more common to see these drugs around high schools. The administration at SHS has been taking more steps to combat this issue throughout the building. 

Since the beginning of the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year, students found with illegal substances on campus will be handed a $150 ticket, as opposed to being suspended. Violations of this new policy can possibly lead to criminal charges, arrest warrants and even appearances in court. 

“This seems to be the most effective way of dealing with illegal substances and really cracking down on it,” Officer Luke Quinlan said. 

Jordin Baker
Officer Luke Quinlan works in his office during second lunch on Monday, Jan. 27. He has already written three tickets towards the possesion of illegal drugs on campus this month.

According to Quinlan, SHS hasn’t caught too many students with illegal substances, but this new policy is a precaution to keep as much out as possible. 

If a student wants to challenge the ticket, the ticket will contain information about contacting an attorney. 

According to success coach T.J. Lovejoy, the substances that schools have the most trouble with are marijuanna and tobacco. This new policy is meant to target tobacco products that are commonly found in a lot of vaping devices, and it places stronger consequences on students caught with these substances.

“After a couple offenses, students can receive suspension or expulsion, depending on the offense,” Lovejoy said.

Students have differing opinions about the new policy and what the school is doing to keep drugs out. According to junior Cooper Heaton, this new regulation could be very beneficial in preventing illegal substances in the building. He doesn’t think the school is necessarily doing enough to reduce this issue, but he believes it is a step in the right direction.

“I think that’s probably a good thing because it’ll make it less likely that people will bring illegal substances to school, and it will reduce the amount circulating,” Heaton said.

On the other hand, some students seem to think there is still a long way to go.  

Jordin Baker
Officer Thomas Shambaugh sits in his car during third lunch on Monday, Jan. 27. He keeps a constant watch over different areas outside of the building.

“I think they should pay more attention to kids and try monitoring bathrooms to see what kids bring into schools,” junior Ah’Maiya Martin said. 

Getting caught with contraband can result in various levels of potential punishments  students will receive. If students are caught with tobacco, they will receive either a ticket or a ticket and a suspension. If marijuana or products containing marijuana are found, the consequences are much greater. According to Quinlan, marijuana will lead to an arrest and the student being taken off of school grounds. 

In addition, the ignoring of a ticket can lead to getting a driver’s license taken away. Failure to pay a ticket will result in serious consequences from authorities.

¨I think the fine of the ticket is awesome,” Lovejoy said. “I think it’s going to really curb the issue a lot.”