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January 19, 1998

Local News

BHS students expelled for drug possession, paraphernalia "Not a landmark issue," cop says

  by Andrew Walgamott
   BOTHELL--The Northshore School District expelled four Bothell High School students for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia last Friday afternoon as a result of an anonymous tip. Bothell Police Captain Bob Woolverton said a 17-year-old female was booked for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. She was transported to Denny Creek Youth Center in Snohomish County. Misdemeanor possession is defined as having less than 40 grams, Woolverton said. Woolverton said there was a possibility the girl might be charged as an adult as she is only three weeks from her 18th birthday.
   A 16-year-old male was also expected to be booked for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Two other minors, both male, were expected to be charged with misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia Tuesday. Woolverton said the next step was finding the students' source.
   Trouble began when an anonymous source went to the main office of the school and said that someone on campus was in possession of controlled substances, according to Pamela Steele, district communications director. Four subjects were brought to the office and interviewed separately by school officials.
   All four confessed to the sale and distribution of marijuana, Steele said, and were turned over to Bothell Police working as school resource officers. Steele said it was the largest simultaneous drug bust she seen in her three years at the district. Woolverton said the school had had some drug problems but added that the bust was "not a landmark issue." In fact, officers had a far larger bust in December when firefighters found 129 marijuana plants inside a burning Canyon Park home. But the district was in the news last fall when it considered drug and alcohol testing of athletes.
   The four minors have been placed in emergency expulsion which buys the district time to meet with the students' parents to determine consequences. Under the district's codes, high school students involved in the sale or distribution of drugs may be suspended for up to 60 days, or expelled indefinitely. Bothell High officials will decide the students' punishment, another district official said.
   One boy outside of Bothell Police headquarters who said he knew those arrested spoke out against what he perceived as too much security at the school. He said if he had the choice he would go to school elsewhere.