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Lonoke schools enforce no drug tolerance

The Lonoke School Board met in a special meeting on Monday night to address student disciplinary issues and resignations. The meeting was closed to the public.

The board voted to expel two students during the meeting. A male high school student was expelled for the remainder of the spring semester for violation of Rule 39 — selling a controlled substance. Lonoke School District Superintendent Suzanne Bailey said this student was one of three students up for expulsion at the Feb. 26 special school board meeting but was unable to attend. Before expelling the student, the board postponed the meeting until Monday to allow the student to attend the meeting in his defence. Bailey said the three high school students were selling prescription drugs on campus.

The second student was a female middle school student who was expelled for the remainder of the spring semester for violation of Rule 16 — alcohol, drugs and inhalants. Bailey said the second unrelated expulsion was due to the possession on marijuana.

“We are just not going to tolerate drug activity at the Lonoke School District,” Bailey said.

According to Bailey when situations of this nature arise, building principals and administration began investigating claims of illegal activity. The Lonoke School District currently has two resource officers on campus to assist in investigating. Bailey said they also look at the law and handbook rules.

Although no two incidents are alike, Bailey said parents are contacted for a meeting as well as written notification of the incident sent to the parent. Bailey nor the building principals have the authority to expel a student, according to Bailey. She said they are only able to suspend students up to 10 days at a time. Due to limited authority to expel students, expulsion recommendations are then made to the board.

Bailey said it was her recommendation to the board that all four students be expelled.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to worry about this, but we are not going to tolerate it in our schools,” Bailey said.

Also during the meeting the board voted to accept the resignation of Penny Noblett effective Jan. 28; Cynthia Thompson, middle school family consumer science teacher; Alice Bridges, middle school eight grade English teacher; V. Gay Campbell, primary first grade interventionist and Phynaus L. Wilson, high school principal.

Thompson, Bridges, Campell, and Wilson will be retiring at the end of the school year.

Chris James and Rick Pennington were absent from the meeting.

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