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5 Middle School Students Caught With Marijuana

PARKER, Colo. (CBS) – Five middle school students in Parker are being suspended from school after getting caught with marijuana.

Douglas County School Officials said the teens, all 7th and 8th graders at Sierra Middle School, may also face criminal charges. Two of the students could be expelled.

Heather Manning, a mother of one of those students, said she isn’t happy with how the situation was handled. She said her son and the four others were taken into the principal’s office and questioned about having marijuana on Monday. She feels she should have been present for the questioning.

“I’m frustrated that they proceeded in my place. I felt like they usurped my position as a parent,” Manning said.

But the school said they followed standard procedure.

“Sierra Middle School used the policy that the board has put in place to conduct investigations involving marijuana,” said Douglas County Schools spokeswoman Susan Meek.

The marijuana was found after the students were searched last week. Manning said her son is a new student at Sierra and got caught in a classic case of peer pressure.

The students have been suspended for 8 days, but Manning said her son will probably not return.

“He’s horrified and ashamed and he said ‘I don’t want to be thought of that way … as one of those kids,'” Manning said.

The school will hold an expulsion hearing to decide what to do with the two students who are accused of planning to distribute the marijuana.

The Parker Police Department is involved in an investigation and ultimately the district attorney will decide if criminal charges should be filed.Five middle school students were busted last week for getting caught with marijuana. They were suspended from Sierra Middle School in Parker on Tuesday.

Douglas County School Officials said the kids may also face criminal charges. Two of the students could be expelled.

A mother of one of those students isn’t happy with how the situation was handled. On Monday, Heather Manning’s son and 4 others were taken into the principal’s office and questioned about having marijuana.

Manning said she’s more upset with the school than she is with her son. She believes she should have been present at the questioning.

“I’m frustrated that they proceeded in my place. I felt like they usurped my position as a parent,” Manning said.

But the school said they followed standard procedure.

“Sierra Middle School used the policy that the board has put in place to conduct investigations involving marijuana,” Susan Meek with Douglas County Schools said.

Manning said her son is a new student at Sierra Middle School, and got caught in a classic case of peer pressure.

When the students were searched, marijuana was found. Manning’s son now faces a marijuana possession charge.

The 7th and 8th graders are now suspected of possessing marijuana. 2 of the students are suspected of distributing it.

The students have been suspended for 8 days, but Manning said her son will probably not return.

“He’s horrified and ashamed and he said, ‘I don’t want to be thought of that way … as one of those kids,’” Manning said.

The Parker Police Department is involved in an investigation

The school will hold an expulsion hearing to decide what to do with the 2 students who are accused of intent to distribute that marijuana.

Ultimately, the district attorney will decide if criminal charges should be filed.

  • Citizen M

    Had you a clue about your child’s activities, perhaps the school wouldn’t have had to usurp your parental authority, Heather. Moreover, your kid disobeyed the school rules/policy and broke the law, and now he’s being held accountable. So in the future when your kid gets in trouble at his job, are you going to stomp your feet in protest then as well? Parents like you are what’s wrong. Not the school.

    • Colorado Dad

      For those posting and wondering how this became front page news. Ask the mother. I bet she is the one who called in the news station to tell her story and garner sympathy for her poorly treated son. Nothing like a helicopter parent rushing to the rescue and in the process publicizing her and her son’s inadequacies.

      • Sierra Student

        You are actully 100% correct. The school’s legal standard was to keep it confidential, but for some strange reason, the mother told the news.

    • Jerry

      The fact that someone publicized such a story is “what’s wrong.” Your opinion may be correct on some level, but the point is this is none of your business, nor is that of mine or anyone else not directly involved. We’re only discussing this in such a public forum because it involves marijuana, unfortunately the poor kid involved will suffer greatly as a result of the attention this has garnered. Imagine if your childhood transgressions were being discussed on the internet by both strangers and your peers, how would you feel?

    • Eric

      I know Carter though he would have never done marijuana if it wasnt for peer pressure.

      • Eric

        sorry said the wrong name

      • Citizen M

        He isn’t a victim. He has a brain. He can make his own choices.

  • Colorado Res

    I have to agree with the other comment. Its not the school’s responsibility to get parents, lawyers and whomever else involved when school rules and laws are broken. The school is clearly allowed to question kids in a situation like this, I’m sorry if its embarrassing, but I hope thats all it is and not a sign of a bigger problem. Be mad at your child, not the school. He’s not a victim here.

  • Jon Smit

    I agree with suspension, but expulsion? It’s not like they were an addictive, harmful substance like tobacco, alcohol or prescription pills…

    • Duncan20903

      Indeed Mr. Smit, the point is to teach the children to start goose stepping and sieg heiling when an authority figure snaps his fingers.

    • Citizen M

      You miss the point.

  • Jerry

    How is this front page news? Sounds like CBS4 has a politically motivated agenda and is trying as hard as they can to demonize marijuana.

    • Citizen M

      You are right Jerry. How absurd that CBS and most adults think it wrong for kids to smoke pot and go around stoned. I hope you aren’t a parent.

      • te

        They could be doing much worse things then smoking pot and getting stoned.

      • Jerry

        I don’t think kids should use marijuana either, calm down. People who don’t know the facts about the substance read reports such as this and perceive it as a subversive beast that preys on children and undermines social conventions. I would also like to know who’s idea it was to make this story so public. It is clear there are classmates of these children on here now making statements, this should have been kept private for the sake of the kids involved. Why is this front page news? Why don’t we get reports every time a kid gets into their parents’ liquor cabinet and brings something as “innocuous” as Vodka to school? I was commenting on the double standard that demonizes marijuana in the media rather than condoning marijuana use by children.

  • Sierra Mom

    Weneed to teach ourchildren to accept responsibility for their actions. This mother has robbed her son of a valuable learning experience. My daughterwasalso inolve. Her friend told her she had pot and she told no one for about 25 min before someone else told and an adult questioned her. She received an afternonn of detention that I hope helps her make better choices in the future.

  • Get Real

    It could have been worse. At least it wasn’t alcohol or pharmaceuticals from their parents. Those substances could kill them, unlike cannabis that has killed no one.

    • Citizen M

      Which substance the kid had is not the point.

      • Jim

        Yes it is, if this hadn’t involved marijuana it certainly wouldn’t be front page news. Opponents of reform will take any opportunity to cast marijuana in a negative light.

  • Sandy

    Ms. Manning, are you serious? Your son BROKE THE RULES! I hope he’s embarrassed and ashamed. Maybe next time he’ll remember this when he faces “peer pressure”. Let him learn his lesson. It will help him grow up to make good choices on his own.

    • Jerry

      Hopefully the next time your child makes a mistake it gets posted on the internet and perfect strangers start casting stones.

  • Citizen M

    Learning how to say to no to peer pressure is part of growing up and being responsible. Heather paints her kid as a victim. I do believe the kid has a brain, and therefore is capable of critical thinking. Is he not? So you all know the saying, “If you friend jumps off a building, are you also going to jump off the building’? This is not a novel concept. Heather…you should go to detention.

  • student katie

    ok soo i go to sierra and carter isent the one u would see doin marijana he was always one of the good kids and i also know to other kids im not gonna say there names but there in my class and its sad because we were just learning about drug us and how bad it is

    • Alise

      I am a student that goes to Sierra Middle School and I know how bad drugs and alcohol are. I was once caught with cigarettes at this school and I agree with Mrs. Manning that they have a terrible way of questioning the students. When I was questioned I felt targeted at and I hated it. I know the students that were involved with this situation and I know that they are good kids. They may do stupid things but we all do. I know I have with the cigarette incident. Most of the kids at Sierra have/do stupid things. I know that the kids who got caught with pot are good kids and should have a second chance

      • Sierra Supporter

        The argument isn’t that the kids aren’t good. The majority of them are. The point is that there are rules, at home, at school, in society. If a rule is broken, there’s a consequence. And, sweetheart, you were ‘targeted’ since you were the one who broke the rule. It feels horrible to be questioned, no matter how ‘nice’ the people are that are doing it. My kids go to school in the District and one or two of them have been in similar situations. I’ve been in on the questioning and don’t have any complaints. The whole situation is hard. However, you break a rule or a law, you have to be able to deal with the consequences of the choice you made to break it in the first place. The police aren’t going to accept the excuse of, “oh, darn, I did a stupid thing. Can you let me off cuz we all do stupid things?” And, I do know that all these students will get a second chance, just like you did with the cigarettes.

  • A

    I agree with the comments that marijuana is not a big deal and that the conservative movement of Colorado puts in it a stupid agenda. However, wait until the kids are legal adults to start making decisions about it. They should absolutely be expelled for going against the school’s drug policy no matter what it is.

    And Manning, stop trying to blame the system. Whether it was peer pressure or not, take the responsibility as a parent and have your child accept the consequences.

  • Alise

    And whoever this person, Citizen M is needs to stop commenting on everyones post! shut up

    • Sierra Supporter

      Citizen M has the same right to post their comments as you do Alise.

  • Bev M

    This mom is part of the problem! Why is she making excuses for her son who of course knows it is not okay to have marijuana at school!
    Had this happened when i was in high school, we’d have been suspended for the remainder of the school year! and then my parents would have punished me severely.
    No wonder there’s so much trouble at schools with parents being so permissive and not putting their foots down with their own children!

  • Serena

    I go to Sierra too. One of the girls who was involved used to be my best friend, and I remember when she started doing it, i told her to stop & she said she did. It sucks knowing she didn’t listen and now she is in all this trouble. Im also really good friends with Carter and the other boy. I think they kind of deserve their punishment, but like Alise said, all of them can be good kids when they want to be. Were all still growing up and we are learning from our mistakes, as much as everyone says its bad, people are still doing it & trying it. It was dumb of them to do it in school, but I also think they should get another chance because i know they learned from it. For sure.

    • Sierra Supporter

      From past experiences dealing with the District and my children, the District does try to give students a second chance. No one has said that they won’t get that.

  • lady d

    Where did they get the marijana from in the first place? Makes you wonder. It’s to bad that parents aren’t aware of what there children are doing or they aren’t communicating . This is a hard lesson and hopefully they won’t make the same mistakes.

    • asd

      The people on this post make it sound like this is some kind of huge mistake, an that these kids lives will be ruined over this incident. Give me a break, getting caught with marijuana is a joke. This state has the most lenient laws in country in regards to being caught with marijuana.

  • G

    Well looks like the ones who are not getting suspended will have to face their slap on the wrist fine of a couple hundred bucks and a few hours of community service. This is not news, this kind of thing happens all the time. This is what happens when kids behave like kids. Please do us all a favor and report on something that is truly news worthy.

  • Sierra Parent

    Ms. Manning is the problem here. When did our society find that the way to get around a problem is to blame someone else, because that is exactly what she is doing! Where was her parenting when the child was getting involved in the first place? The child violated the law and deserves to be punished! Unfortunately, Ms. Manning will not allow her son to learn an important lesson here, She instead has taught him that when you are in trouble, blame someone else!

    • Kiera

      so i take it you dont know the entire story? you clearly dont have ANY evidence that mrs. manning is takeing any precautions twards her son and him learning a lesson. so you might want to think before you speak

  • heather manning

    Okay kids, lets put our thinking caps on. Do you really believe in the truth of sound bites and media print? Really? There is so much more under the surface. I may appear stupid at first glance, but ahhh, look again, I’m cunning. This is a story about the last straw breaking the camels back. This “incident” was the straw and I am the camel. The institution doing the breaking -providing the straw is the horrible judgement of our school board here in douglas county….read on

    • Sierra Supporter

      I believe what I saw/heard you say, sound bites or not. Don’t back-pedal now. The school had every right to do what they did. They give every child the choice to have their parent present. You need to advise your children to take them up on that choice. I did with my children and the District has always followed their wishes. If a child is visiting my home and commits a crime, you’d better believe I will call the cops. I will let them follow their procedure from there. Your child was in the District’s ‘home’. You bet they can follow their rules during this time. As for the Douglas County School Board, check with other districts and their policies. You will find that they are the same or similar. Unfortunately, with children, like your son, getting into these types of crimes, the procedures are necessary.

  • heather manning

    I’m going to bring you along now….listen carefully. Would an overprotective parent really purposefully expose her poor little child to such public scrutiny???? Really???Or is this mother cunning and sly???? This is not about an incident, but years of a government controlled, out of control school district who whishes to displace parents and voters alke. Talk about blaming someone else. It was OUR fault for not voting for the bonds that the schools are broke and they have to charge for bus routes now…..who’s acting like a child, blaming others for their own mistakes???? read on

  • heather manning

    My child was one of seven, and by the way he did not have any illegal substance in HIS possession. When I called the principal, she was too busy to speak w/me. To busy to speak with a parent, who by HER action allowed this parents child to potentially face life changing charges without representation???? Too busy???? I gave her a msg that if she didn’t get on the phone then I would be contacting every news agency in the Denver Metro Area. You sure you’re too busy??? But not too busy to hang my son out to dry all by himself???? She told her receptionist to tell me she’d call me back. I told her receptionist to tell her this was the most important call of her day and would she like to reconsider…..I promptly notified every news agency around. By 5pm I had sched an interview, by 6pm we were tapping….read on

    • Sierra Supporter

      Oh ya, and let’s have the principal drop dealing with my child because you’re on the phone wanting to discuss yours! Please! Principals have hundreds of kids to deal with, yours isn’t the only one. What makes your problem more important than the hundreds of other children at the school. Let’s all drop what we’re doing folks, Heather’s on the phone!

    • Sierra Supporter

      Heather, you are a psycho . . . try medication. Really? You want to go on with this. O my god! No wonder your child is turning to drugs!!!!

  • heather manning

    My cunning diabolical scheme was to expose dc school district, Sierra ms, and the administration of their poor judgements. I’ve had over 21 years experience raising my 6 sons in this district. Do you know you sign a written permission form for the school to administer tylenol? But do you know they can question, sequester, frisk(by 2 adult males behind closed doors), humilate, and threaten them without your permission? Did you know that REALLY? Did you know they made that rule up themselves? read on

    • Sierra Supporter

      Wow, 21 years experience raising you sons. You must be an expert at parenting and the District! You did sign that you and your child read the District’s Code of Conduct, right? I know I did for my kids who are in the District. If the parents read this Code of Conduct, then I guess they should know this. And, I also know that only elementary kids need a form signed for Tylenol. The district trusts the parents and students of the middle and high school kids to use their brains and carry their own tylenol etc. Did you know that? Made the rule up themselves? Huh? My kids have been in several other districts over the past 20 years and every one of them follows this same procedure. What do you really know, or just think you know Heather?

  • heather manning

    So I laugh at the comments about my parenting skills. You bet I’m skillful. I’m a momma bear. Our community is at risk, our kids are at risk at a school board running amock w/their own purposed power. I think they need to know they are NOT in power. It is the tax payers and parents that are in power. They listen to us! They are paid by us! So do you REALLY want your little girl frisked by 2 adult mailes behind clothes doors???? Now who’s the bad parent again??? Your kidding right…I’ll continue. read on

    • Sierra Supporter

      I don’t know about your parenting skills. However, your comments are truly making my day. I needed a good laugh. In fact, we’re all gathered around the computer at the office this morning getting a huge chuckle. Hmm, really, frisked by two adult males behind closed doors? Now Heather, trying to get your point across by lying? Come on. That is absolutely not allowed and you know it. There is a very strict policy and procedure when searching students. Now you’re proving to us that you’re not just a psycho but a liar. We can make our own opinions on your parenting skills just based on your psycho rantings here.

  • heather manning

    So, while my little one is going to be cleared most assuredly of his “crimes”, I’m left to wonder if this little exercise made any impact. Shame on you for thinking everything you read in the press and the sound bites on TV are real! 13 year old know theyre not. Or were you just mistaken-do you have a brain? Are you using it??? See the big picture here. It’s never been about me or my son, we’ll be fine. It’s about our community and the loss of power and control of our very loved ones futures at the whim of an institution that’s out of control. read on

    • Sierra Supporter

      Hmmm. The question here is this, did your son not only buy but try pot? From what the students ( and police too from their statements) are saying at the school, he did. I doubt he will be ‘cleared’ of a crime that he actually committed. I’m also sure that he will be given a second chance, which is what I’ve heard is this horrible district’s policy. I hope he, and you as well, embrace it. This exercise has really made an impact on me. I didn’t realize how crazy some of my neighbors actually are. Thank you for pointing this out. And, you’re the one who ran to the media so you obviously felt that what you hear there is true. Otherwise, why did you run to them? I’m sure that institutions across America are sitting around all day thinking up whims. How dare they!

  • heather manning

    So I leave you with these thoughts. I am a concerned citizen and a loving parent of 6 amazing men and boys. My oldest is a DU graduate attorney, my second a CSU grad, The mother of a fourth son, a college student now, who was by my third sons side as he died of his injuries at the scene of a car accident, almost 10 years ago who needed the help and guidance of his school and was met by the same judgemental, out of control, me-centered school board, and a freshman and a 13 year old that caused all this stir. I’m a mom, the best in all the workd to these amazing men. Should you be so lucky. Fondlly, Heather

    • Sierra Supporter

      I don’t doubt that you love your boys and you’re a good mom to them. I do believe, however, as a mom of great kids myself, you could have handled this much differently, especially where your son is involved.

  • Sierra Student (not one that got busted)

    i think Suspension is enough i dont think that the kids were going to become drug addicts they just want to try it once. I dont personally see a problem in it the first time they try it they could hate it you never know what will happen.

    • Sierra Supporter

      Students who ‘try it’ are usually just suspended. One of my children was in a similar situation and that’s the District’s policy. It gets more serious when they sell the drug. That’s a felony conviction and is much more serious. This is where a student can be expelled.

  • Pathetic Really

    Mrs. Manning,
    You might be psycho and need to be medicated yourself. Maybe that is why your son is turning to drugs or “peer pressure” as you put it. You would throw your sons name out there for the world to know………….what? You are a momma bear alright and you need to let your son learn consequences for poor decisions. He messed up and he needs to learn…but you are taking that opportunity to…..still not sure? You may think you are sharp or cunning, but the world thinks you’re a loon. For the students who know this young and other students…you sure it was just their first time really? Might consider that one for a minute… many of these kids are “knuckleheads” in school. This is an opportunity to learn something…not justify, make excuses or whine that the world has consequences.

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