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District responds to Arlington High School student suspension

ARLINGTON — The Arlington School District issued a response Monday, Oct. 27, to claims made by the father of a 14-year-old student that was allegedly suspended for drinking a peppermint mocha.

In an official statement, district spokeswoman Misti Gilman said that the district cannot comment on disciplinary actions taken with individual students.

"That said, I can comment that we take campus safety and security very seriously," Gilman said in the statement. "The health of our students is paramount."

According to several media outlets, James Glass, whose daughter Brittany attends Arlington High School, said Brittany was recently suspended from school for sharing a peppermint mocha with a friend.

Glass told Northwest Cable News that Brittany was sharing the drink with a friend when another student said that it smelled like peppermint Schnapps.

"My daughter doesn't even know what peppermint Schnapps is," Glass told NWCN. "No one tested it. There was no breathalyzer, but they suspended my daughter. That is ridiculous."

Gilman said that the district investigates any reports of threats to student safety, including reasonable suspicion of possession or use of alcohol.

"If reasonable suspicion exists, an investigation is conducted and if student safety is in danger, school administration will take disciplinary action," Gilman said in the statement.

Glass said that the school originally suspended his daughter and four other students until January, but later backed off and let her come back to school.

The school's official statement in full is posted below:

For student privacy reasons we cannot and will not comment on disciplinary actions taken with individual students. That said, I can comment that we take campus safety and security very seriously. The health of our students is paramount.

We investigate any reports of threats to student safety including

reasonable suspicion of possession or use alcohol, and will act accordingly with student health and safety in mind. If reasonable suspicion exists, an investigation is conducted and if student safety is in danger school administration will take disciplinary action.

Additionally, a student is in violation of policy if he/she purports to possess, use, or distribute a substance they claim to be alcohol/drugs.

I have pasted excerpts from the AHS Student Handbook below for your information and review. The entire handbook is available online at asd.wednet.edu and via the direct link provided for your convenience.

asd.wednet.edu/education/components/docmgr/default.php?sectiondetailid=11285&fileitem=9650&catfilter=663.

11. Drugs or Alcohol, Possession of or Use of (excerpt from A page 24)

Students may not possess, use, or be under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, non-prescription drugs, prescription drugs, inhalants, drug paraphernalia, or look-alike drugs. ...

DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, SALE OF, PURCHASE OF, TRADE OF, OR DISTRIBUTION OF (INCLUDING THE INTENT TO SELL OR DISTRIBUTE)-students shall not sell, purchase, trade, or transfer alcohol, controlled substances, non-prescription drugs, prescription drugs, inhalants, drug paraphernalia, or look-alike drugs.

* Any offense will result in Long-term suspension to expulsion. This will result in failure to complete course requirements and a loss of credits.

AHS discipline polices and procedures are developed under the principle that all students have the right to an educational environment conducive to learning and safe. No student will be allowed to disrupt this process and/or interfere with the rights of others. We expect most students will exhibit responsible behavior. There may be a few students who will make poor choices and conduct themselves in an inappropriate manner. The discipline policy at AHS is designed to hold students accountable for their actions, promote more responsible behavior through logical consequences, and ensure both due process and progressive discipline.

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