IMAGE OF NARCOTIC CANDY
- Photo courtesy of the Richmond Police Department -
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
RICHMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT AND CHARIHO REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Chief Elwood Johnson & Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci
On March 27th, 2014, a 14-year-old student of the Chariho Middle School was arrested on charges of (1) distributing a controlled substance in or near a school, and (2) possession of a controlled substance, after a joint investigation into an incident in which a teenaged Chariho Middle School student required medical attention. The student experienced a reaction after consuming a “marijuana candy” that he/she had obtained on March 26th from the aforementioned 14-year-old suspect. A small bag of the suspicious unlabeled hard candy was retrieved from the suspect, which was submitted for toxicology testing at the RI Department of Health.
On March 27th, a 14-year-old student was arrested at Chariho High School on two (2) counts of possession of a controlled substance. School surveillance video taken in a hallway was reviewed and two (2) students involved in an apparent drug transaction were identified. The above student was found to be in possession of two (2) 36-mg Concerta pills (methylphenidate HCl) for which she had no prescription, and another controlled substance in the form of an unlabeled hard brown candy. The brown candy-like substance tested positive for traces of methamphetamine, but more conclusive toxicology testing shall be conducted at the RI Department of Health. As a result of that investigation, on April 7th, 2014, a second 14-year old student from Chariho High School was charged with one (1) count of distributing a controlled substance in or near a school. Investigation into this activity continues.
We are taking the unusual step of issuing a joint press release regarding these two incidents because of their unique, dangerous and unsafe nature. The use of a candy-like item to conceal an illegal, controlled substance raises a number of significant concerns (see image). Communication with the community to raise awareness is key to preventing unnecessary tragedies.
We are committed to doing everything possible to maintain a drug-free school environment, but need the assistance of the community, especially parents, to do so. We call on all students and the entire school community to refuse the use of illegal substances, to live a healthy lifestyle, and to respect the educational environment as one reserved for teaching and learning. We request that parents use this incident as a teachable moment to reinforce the expectation that illegal substances be rejected. We will do the same here at school.
The Chariho Regional School District and the Richmond Police Department, along with other relevant agencies, will continue to cooperatively and collaboratively work together to keep our schools and our students safe.
To assist parents and/or students who may be seeking support regarding substance abuse issues, we offer the following contact information for counseling resources at Chariho Regional High School and Chariho Regional Middle School:
Terri Censabella, SAC
(401) 364-0651 x2264Terri.Censabella@chariho.k12.ri.us
Additionally, resource information is available through the Chariho Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention: www.charihotaskforce.com
Kathy L. Gardner
DFC Grant Manager/Community Outreach
The Chariho Task Force is a volunteer, working task force comprised of individuals who are interested in substance abuse prevention issues in the Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton and Narragansett Tribe communities.
Current Task Force members include school, prevention and treatment professionals, youth, parents, law enforcement, faith community, health care, youth organizations, business owners, media and local government. All members live and work in the Chariho region.
The Chariho Task Force has meetings on the second Monday of each month at the Chariho Middle School. Meetings are open to all interested community members.
Chariho Task Force Objectives
Define alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues and their impact on our towns.
Work together to find effective strategies to prevent the use of or abuse of substances in our youth.
Collaborate with the school district, local government officials, health care providers and law enforcement organizations, and to develop and sustain substance abuse and violence prevention activities throughout the year.
Work with Prevention Practitioners in RI to develop and maintain best practice programs.
Establish positive community norms to prevent substance abuse through advocacy, education, parental programs and youth leadership opportunities.
Work with our schools, our communities and all students, and in particular, high risk students to provide effective education, support and alternative programming.