Popping pills

Investigation turned over to district attorney’s office

James White (left) and Scott Singer (right).

By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – An incident involving multiple middle students ingesting non-prescribed pills has been turned over to the Canadian County District Attorney’s office.

Piedmont police investigators presented the information to the DA’s office Monday morning, Police Chief Scott Singer said. Assistant District Attorney Eric Epplin said he passed the case to the DA’s juvenile division, which will handle the case from this point forward.

The investigation centers on an incident involving three middle school students who ingested pills while at school. Two of the students were taken by ambulance to the hospital where they were treated and released.

Superintendent James White sent out a statement to parents informing them about the drugs the students took.

“As always, student safety and wellness are a top priority at Piedmont Schools.  On November 9, three students ingested unknown prescription medications while at school. District staff, as well as Piedmont emergency personnel, responded immediately.  Our district worked closely with the Piedmont Police Department as they investigated the incident.  In an email to middle school parents on the day of the incident, we asked parents to partner with us and speak with their children about the dangers of misusing prescription or over-the-counter medication,” a prepared statement from White reads.

Police Chief Scott Singer said the matter is still being investigated.

“We have presented information to the district attorney this morning,” he said. “They will consider what actions, if any, are appropriate for unlawful delivery of controlled substances. We are still investigating how they came into possession of the substances.”

Police officials are unsure if the students obtained the drugs from parents, friends or other outside sources. At this point, investigators are trying to determine if the drugs were purchased.

Singer appreciated the cooperation of the school staff.

“They are extremely proactive,” he said. “They school has been very cooperative.”
Piedmont Schools have one resource officer that goes to the different sites, but Singer said they would be willing to negotiate with the district if more law enforcement presence is needed.

“I think people want an extra set of eyes and hears available in all the schools,” he said.

“We would like to see that happen at some point. Generally, I would like to see more officers in the schools. We have to look at our budget and it would be a fund-sharing venture. Currently we have an inter-local agreement where the school pays for part of the officer’s salary and we pay the other part. We’ve had the agreement a number of years and it works well.”

White, however, did not see the need for additional resource officers in the district.

“At this time, we are not planning to add more school resource officers.  Our district has a successful partnership with Chief Singer and the Piedmont Police Department, and we would not hesitate to request any additional assistance if it becomes necessary,” his statement reads.

White also said schools do hold awareness presentations for students regarding the dangers of drug abuse.

“We have, and will continue, to provide drug awareness programs to our students in an effort to prevent future incidents.”