Pubdate: Tue, 27 Apr 2004
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2004 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Matthai Chakko Kuruvila
Note: MAP archives articles exactly as published, except that our editors
may redact the names and addresses of accused persons who have not been
convicted of a crime, if those named are not otherwise public figures or
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)

Youth drug use questioned


A Belmont eighth-grader's overdose on "ecstasy" during a weekend
slumber party prompted school officials to send counselors into
classrooms Monday, and raised questions about drug use among the
Peninsula town's middle-schoolers.

But while parents who were picking their kids up from school expressed
surprise over the events that left the 14-year-old in critical
condition at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford on Monday
night, many classmates saw it as another example of the disconnect
between parents and the reality of middle school.

Parents "are kind of clueless," said Joey Eckel, 13, a
seventh-grader at the sixth through eighth grade Ralston Middle
School. "They're so focused on school, on us getting good grades,
that they never focus on the situations we get in."

The girl who overdosed was one of three 14-year-olds at the Friday
night slumber party who took ecstasy pills. But even though the three
took the same amount of the drug, different body types react
differently to drugs, said Belmont police detective Patrick Halleran.
One girl's parents were home at the time.

It was only when the parents discovered the girl at 7:15 a.m. Saturday
morning that they called paramedics, police said. Authorities have
arrested a 17-year-old Belmont boy and a 20-year-old man in connection
with the case, saying the two supplied the drugs. While investigating
the two men, police found cocaine, marijuana and more ecstasy.

More than a dozen students interviewed by the Mercury News said they
weren't surprised the girls had easy access to drugs. Several students
and some adults outside the middle school said some Carlmont High
School students sell marijuana at Water Dog Lake, which is near Ralston.

Police arrested the 17-year-old Belmont teen, whose name they did not
reveal, on charges of supplying ecstasy to the victim. They also
arrested [deleted], 20, on felony charges of furnishing
controlled substances to a minor, conspiracy, child endangerment, and
possession of a controlled substance for sale.

A group of Ralston students said alcohol is the vice of choice among
their peers. But marijuana "would be hella easy" to get, one said.
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