NORWOOD — Superintendent David Thomson and Coakley Middle School Principal Margo Fraczek report that the Norwood Public Schools investigated an incident in which students at the Coakley Middle School allegedly consumed marijuana edibles while on school property.
On Friday, April 1, the Coakley Middle School administration was made aware of an incident in which students reportedly consumed candy, which was later determined to be marijuana edibles, while on school property.
Consistent with the district’s policies and procedures, the district launched an investigation into the matter. The Norwood Police Department was also notified of the incident.
Through their investigation, the district learned that a student brought a chocolate bar laced with marijuana into the school. After lunch, the student shared this candy bar with several students and at least one of these students gave out the candy to others without identifying the candy as a drug-laced edible.
The families of those involved have all been contacted.
The students involved in this incident will face discipline in accordance with the school district’s policies and procedures. Because the students are juveniles, the students’ identities are not being released.
“We would like to remind community members that Norwood Public Schools takes the issue of student substance use very seriously as we have strict policies regarding the use of alcohol, drugs or any controlled substances by our students,” Superintendent Thomson said. “It’s imperative that parents and guardians are on the same page as school administrators when it comes to making sure students are aware of the dangers of substance use. As such, we will continue to offer educational opportunities surrounding the negative impacts of alcohol, drugs and tobacco use.”
Community members are reminded that marijuana remains illegal for minors to possess or consume in Massachusetts. Edible products are easily confused as candy and snack items, and the district encourages families to have open and honest conversations with their children about the risks and dangers of these products.
To facilitate these conversations, Norwood Public Schools would like to offer the following helpful information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Talk with your children: Parents and guardians should plan to have many short talks with their children about the dangers of drug use. Parents/guardians are advised to choose informal times to have these conversations, such as in the car or during dinner. These talks should continue as your children get older and should clearly state not only your expectations regarding drug use, but the district’s expectations as well. During these conversations, families are encouraged to let their children know that they are always there for them.
Have an exit plan: Talk with your children about having an “exit plan” from a situation or setting if they are offered marijuana or other drugs. Peer pressure can be powerful among youths, and having a plan to avoid drug use can help children make better choices. Remind children that they can contact an adult at home or within the school if they are ever in a situation in which they are being pressured by peers to use drugs.
The district would also like to remind community members of the impact Norwood Substance Use Prevention Coalition which uses a community approach to promote a drug-free and healthy Norwood through education, awareness, prevention and action. To learn more about Impact Norwood, visit www.impactnorwood.org.
Anyone with questions about how to talk with their children about substance use is encouraged to reach out and the district can assist in finding additional resources.