High school vice principal not surprised by drug bust

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Although dismayed by the recent discovery of marijuana on the Carson High School campus, Vice Principal Fred Perdomo was also relieved by the find.

"It shows that we're vigilant, we're watching," he said. "On that particular day, the timing was wrong for the kids who brought the marijuana and right for us."

An anonymous tip led police and school officials to a large stash of marijuana in a girls bathroom of the Jim Randolph High Tech Center.

Video surveillance cameras outside the bathroom revealed the identity of two students who were then arrested for possession with intent to sell.

Further investigation led to the arrest of another student for possession of smaller amount of the drug.

The same day, two Eagle Valley Middle School students were also arrested for possession of marijuana but police say none of the incidents are related.

"We used everything -- all of the security measures from the police officers on campus to the video cameras -- and it worked well," Perdomo said. "It's hard to dispute your picture."

Since the original arrests, increased tips have led to the arrest of six more students -- 11 total. However, police say the arrests are not connected.

At the high school, Perdomo said, all controlled substance violations from alcohol consumption to possession of illegal drugs are treated the same.

For the first offense, students are subject to a 10- to 90-day suspension, a lighter punishment for those who cooperate. They are also placed on disciplinary probation and are subject to a 90-day suspension for a subsequent offense.

A 10-day suspension may be reduced to four days if the student attends the drug education program, "Insight," through the Ron Woods Family Resource Center.

Additionally, students are subject to the controls set by the justice system.

"We work very closely with juvenile probation to ensure the kids will lead a very straight and clean existence when they return to CHS," Perdomo said. "It's a double hammer they get whacked with."

Before serving as vice principal, Perdomo served as a dean of students for nine years and a teacher for 19. He has seen drugs in the school system before and said the problem cannot be overlooked.

"If you do, it will be a major problem," he said. "We're a reflection of the community. We're a microcosm of Carson City. It's not just about criminalizing these students, it needs to be comprehensive."

And it's not isolated only to Carson City.

"We are not different than any high school in this state," he said. "This could have happened anywhere at any school, public or private. Carson High is not a big hot bed for drug rings."


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