Pubdate: Sun, 18 Mar 2007
Source: Redlands Daily Facts (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Redlands Daily Facts
Author: Stacia Glenn
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 officials.
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Youth)


REDLANDS - Two high school students accused of selling heroin to 
other teenagers will be held accountable, officials say, but setting 
their feet down a straight path is a top priority.

The Redlands High School seniors - [Name redacted], 18, and an 
unidentified 17-year-old boy - were arrested this week on suspicion 
of possession of heroin for sale.

Police want to see the pair placed in drug counseling.

"We believe these kids are salvageable, and we're not going to give 
up on them," Police Chief Jim Bueermann said. "Even though they've 
done something that's wrong, abhorrent and highly illegal, at the end 
of the day, it's still somebody's kid."

Mike Snellings, director of student services for the Redlands Unified 
School District, also stressed the district's desire to get the kids 
into counseling.

"Ultimately, we have a responsibility to the safety of all our 
students on campus," he said. "But we're sensitive to the fact that 
these are kids that have made some really poor choices and we want to 
try to link them with the appropriate support to help them. When kids 
are involved with heroin, they need help."

Police stopped [Name redacted] for a traffic violation at 2 p.m. 
Tuesday at Elm and Summit streets and reportedly found hypodermic 
needles in his car.

After [Name redacted] admitted he had a stash of heroin at his home, 
officers served a search warrant and unearthed 17 individual rocks of 
heroin, weighing a total of about 2.5 grams, police said.

Earlier that day, a school resource officer found a 17-year-old boy 
sitting in his car a block from campus. He had tossed hypodermic 
needles out the window, and 13 individual rocks of heroin were found 
in the car.

The two boys are believed to have been supplying a group of about 10 
students with the drug.

Interventions by police and school officials have been set up for all 
users in hopes of getting them proper treatment.

Punishments for the students involved have not been meted out yet, 
Snellings said, and each case will be reviewed separately. All will 
be offered help at Vista Counseling, which contracts with the district.

Family members of the boys arrested could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Officials became aware of on-campus heroin use last month after 
School Resource Officer Leslie Martinez observed a student she 
believed was under the influence.

[Name redacted], 18, was arrested Feb. 8 on suspicion of being under 
the influence and possessing heroin.

On Feb. 28, two boys were found under the influence of heroin in a 
campus bathroom. A 15-year-old boy admitted to using it but flushed 
the drug down the toilet before security arrived. The other student, 
[Name redacted], 18, was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence.

Bueermann credits the partnership between the Police Department and 
the school district for abruptly halting drug sales on campus and 
helping students receive treatment.

"We have a system set up and it worked," he said, adding that school 
officials acted in a timely, efficient manner because they care 
deeply about students' welfare.

Snellings said having police officers on campus improves 
relationships with youths, in addition to keeping the peace.

"They act as guides and mentors on campus, helping kids navigate 
difficult times," he said.

The partnerships "result in safer campuses and protect the 
overwhelming majority of students who are focused on doing the right 
thing and leading positive, contributing lives," Bueermann said. 
"Citizens should be clear that all but a very, very small minority of 
RHS students are great kids, focused on succeeding in life."

There are about 3,300 students at Redlands High School.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman