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January 26, 1998

Front Page

Drug expulsions continue at Bothell High


Photo by Andrew Walgamott/staff photo

More emergency expulsions for alleged drug activity occurred at Bothell High School last week.

Six students out indefinitely

   by Andrew Walgamott
   BOTHELL--At least six students were recommended for indefinite expulsion from Bothell High School last week for their part in drug related activity at the school, bringing the total of those involved or questioned in the continuing investigation to 12. "Six students have been recommended for expulsion from school, classes, any Northshore [School District] event or Northshore property for an indefinite amount of time," District Communications Director Pamela Steele said late last Friday afternoon. Steele said the students' parents had the right to appeal the expulsions, but for "all intents and purposes" the students wouldn't be allowed on Northshore grounds. The kids were being punished for their involvement in drug related activity on campus, Steele said.
   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. All six, and a seventh student, had been emergency expelled from Bothell High between January 16 and January 20. Discipline for the seventh wasn't available at the time. An additional two students were also emergency expelled from the school January 23 for drug activity, Steele said. So far at least nine students have been expelled and three more questioned in the continuing investigation of drugs at the high school.
   Last Thursday, Jeanie Simmons, Bothell High assistant principal, vowed that drugs wouldn't be tolerated on campus, and said she expected more students to come forward with information as time went by. "As names and concerns come up, we're going to investigate. We're not going to allow it here," Simmons said. "The use of drugs is destructive as a whole. But if it also compromises the educational environment, it's not what our students and staff will tolerate," Simmons said.
   Simmons shed some light on how the expulsions came about, which she likened to piecing a puzzle together. She said an anonymous tipster brought a list of dealers to an administrator almost two weeks ago. Together with information the school already had, officials had "reasonable suspicion" to question seven students January 16. Four of those were arrested for possession of paraphernalia and beepers, and allegedly admitted to the sale and distribution of controlled substances, Simmons said. Charges against them in King and Snohomish County juvenile courts are expected this week, according to Bothell Police Capt. Bob Woolverton. There wasn't enough evidence, though, to expel three other students brought in on Jan. 16, Simmons said.
   On Jan. 20, three other students were expelled for alleged sale and distribution of drugs as well as possession of paraphernalia, she said. On Jan. 23, the last two were expelled. Simmons expressed some surprise at the events. "Drugs in high school are a reality because schools are a mirror of the community and drugs are everywhere. Are we surprised at the amount of activity? No. It was surprising we were able to investigate this many dealers," Simmons said.
   She said the school was comfortable with the outcome so far, having consulted with the district lawyer, secondary superintendent and the director of student services. "Clearly, we're all on the same page as this. This isn't something we've taken lightly," she said.