THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Two young students are suspected of bringing marijuana to their school and the parents of one of those students works for the City of Thornton.
Both cases happened in Thornton.
School leaders apparently caught a 12-year-old with marijuana at Valley View Elementary School. He was cited for possession by police.
A second 12-year-old student is accused of bringing marijuana to Shadow Ridge Middle School. Police say that marijuana was being grown at his parents’ home.
The parents of the Shadow Ridge Middle School student are facing criminal charges and their jobs with the city of Thornton are also in limbo. They work for the recreation division. Their child won’t face jail time but is an example of a growing trend with drugs that they are seeing in schools.
Alex and Frances Fuentez were arrested for child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“They’re growing marijuana freely, outside. The kid sees this as an opportunity to seize the plants and takes it to school,” Cmdr. Jerry Peters with the North Metro Drug Task Force said.
Police say Alex Fuentez is also charged with cultivating marijuana. His Shadow Ridge Middle School Student was arrested for transferring marijuana.
“When we’re talking about an illegal substance, that’s an automatic suspension,” Joe Ferdani with the Adams 12 School District said.
The district says they’re concerned for a number of reasons.
“One, the behavior’s illegal, which is very concerning,” Ferdani said. “As well as what that means for the educational environment.”
The City of Thornton released a statement about the arrests.
“Alex and Frances Fuentez are both temporary employees. Due to the serious nature of the charges, both employees have been removed from work schedules and are not receiving any pay,” the statement said.
The North Metro Drug Task Force says they are increasingly seeing more issues with marijuana in schools.
The student from Valley View Elementary was also cited for possession of marijuana after officers say that 12-year-old took it from a yard accessible by children. That homeowner was growing it for medical marijuana use but faces possible charges for growing more than allowed.
“Our intent is not to arrest 12-year-olds,” Peters said. “Our problem is we don’t know how to stop this.”