Friday, June 6, 2003
For the second time in as many weeks, the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has arrested teenagers for bringing drugs to school.
On Monday, two juniors at Hood River Valley High School were caught in possession of “crank,” a cheap derivative of cocaine. The two girls were arrested following an investigation by Principal Steve Fisk that began with an anonymous tip. One of the juveniles was also found to be carrying a small amount of marijuana during a consentual search.
“I think it’s really great that a student came forward with information to help get this stuff out of his/her school,” said Detective Gerry Tiffany.
In fact, Fisk said he has been inundated within the past week by confidential messages from students about known drug dealers and their peers who need help. He commended these teens for be willing to step forward and make their school a drug-free zone.
“I’m not sensing that our kids are afraid to talk about this problem and I see that as a positive step,” said Fisk, who held a special assembly to ask the more than 1,000 high school students for assistance. His request followed the May 29 collapse of a junior girl from heart palpitations after she experimented with methamphetamine. Two of her peers, one male and one female, and a freshman girl, were arrested in connection with that incident. Last week these four students were subjected to an expulsion hearing for violating the school code against drug use. Fisk declined to comment on the outcome of that meeting, but said he was very encouraged by the cooperative spirit of both the teens and their families.
“I see this situation as a chance to help a kid and help a family — it’s another opportunity to turn something around,” he said.
The two girls arrested this week will also face disciplinary action that could result in a one-year expulsion from the school. Fisk believes one of the most important role of an educator is to teach students that they are accountable for their choices and that there are consequences for negative actions.
He believes that goal is best accomplished by using “straight talk” to solve a problem.
With that belief, Fisk showed students at the recent assembly the ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine.
He wanted them to see the “poisons” that would enter their bodies with use of the drug, items that included battery acid, acetone, bleach and fertilizer.
Tiffany, who is charged with the investigation of county drug cases, applauded Fisk for taking a strong stand with the teens under his charge.
He believes that action will serve as a catalyst to get other community members more involved in the local fight against drug abuse.