LSD probe targets 12 Bel Air students


State police are still investigating the suspected distribution, possession and use of LSD by 12 students at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, according to a state trooper.

One student, a 16-year-old boy, was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance on school property and related violations after an assistant principal at the school found what he believed to be 12 "hits," or doses, of the hallucinogen in the boy's book bag on March 31.

That student and two others have been expelled for distributing the drug, and nine students are serving long-term suspensions for possessing or using it, according to a school system spokesman. A student who is expelled is not permitted to return to classes for the remainder of the school year; a student who is suspended is allowed to return.

More students could be charged, Tfc. Mark Carter said.

"We are working with the state's attorney to decide if other charges should be placed," said Trooper Carter.

The students involved include one freshman, two sophomores, seven juniors and two seniors, Assistant Principal Larry S. Wayne said.

Mr. Wayne said interviews with students indicate that five students in the school building and seven students on an overnight trip to a Future Business Leaders of America state competition and conference in Hagerstown ingested the drug. One of the seven students on the trip brought as many as 15 "hits" of LSD, Mr. Wayne said.

"Maybe some of the stuff was taken on the bus" to Hagerstown, he said. "Most of the evidence points that the majority of it was ingested after dinner" on March 30 in Hagerstown.

He said a parent tipped him off to the drug use by students not on the trip just before school was out March 30. The FBLA members had left earlier in the day.

The next day, when Mr. Wayne pulled him out of class, the 16-year-old boy immediately admitted having the drugs and told Mr. Wayne where to find them, the assistant principal said.

Mr. Wayne found what he recognized as LSD hits on a piece of paper not much bigger than a stamp, with 12 perforated sections wrapped in a plastic bag in the student's book bag.

He called state police, and interviews with more students at the school led him to believe that some of the students in Hagerstown had the drug.

Mr. Wayne told the parents of those students at the Hagerstown convention to go to the Western Maryland city and bring their children home that Friday, a day early.

"The students were very cooperative," Mr. Wayne said. "It was relatively easy in the sense that they knew they were wrong."

Trooper Carter said the drugs were purchased in Baltimore County, then sold or given to students.

Distributing drugs on school property usually warrants expulsion for the rest of the year, said school system spokesman Donald R. Morrison.

"At this point, we're not convinced that drug use or drug transfer is rampant in the school system," Mr. Morrison said.

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