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Police: Pot Crackers Responsible for Amity Cafeteria Incident

An Amity High student lost consciousness last week after allegedly eating pot-laced crackers at lunch; Superintendent Brady says the school is well-equipped to respond to drugs.

School officials have given another look to Amity School District's drug prevention / treatment programs following a November 7 incident in which a student lost consciousness after allegedly eating a saltine cracker with a peanut butter and marijuana mixture baked into it during lunch. (See original story below.)

Superintendent John Brady says a presentation to the Board of Education Monday night suggested to him Amity was well-equipped and making progress.

"Nobody at Amity High School is denying there are students who struggle with substance abuse issues," Brady told Patch. "Nobody's denying there's students here who have those problems. But we have a very well-staffed, very experienced array of services that we use to instruct in a preventative way with students and then respond when we see students who have gotten into trouble."

Brady says the school district is prepared, and so far successful, in dealing with drugs at school. Monday night's presentation to the Board of Education suggested about "one to two percent of students," he said -- and added that administrators believe the school has actually seen a decrease in drugs at Amity High School.

"Two or three years ago, when students were searched, we'd find something -- a pipe, a lighter, a cigarette -- and the rate at which [searches] would turn up some material was much higher than it is now. Now, when we have suspicion and we search, we're not finding anything. We believe there's less material and less substances in the school."

Brady says schools introduce mandatory-curriculum programs that deal with the physiological and psychological dangers of drugs in 7th grade, and that higher-level classes addressing drugs tend to have "well-subscribed" enrollment. The school has a "deep, experienced and capable staff" in psychology and outreach counseling, as well as a counselor who works specifically on substance abuse issues.

Brady says experts tell him "they've never seen a high school as well staffed with support staff to deal with students who are experiencing difficulties with substance abuse or have so many preventive programs in place."

Some parents and other residents don't think the district has gone far enough -- and say the problem has gotten out of hand.

"It's getting worse and worse and you've lost control," writes Sue Ellen on Bethwood Patch.

On Orange Patch, kathy asks, "What will it take for people to wake up? Perhaps this could have been avoided...perhaps next time it will result in a death. Very sad."

"Starting to save for private high school now for my kids," says commenter Stacy from Greensprays.

And Brad Marcus asks, "Does a child have to die there before they take this situation seriously?" (See below for more comments.)

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According to just-released reports, police say a saltine cracker with a peanut butter and marijuana mixture baked into it was responsible for a November 7 incident in which a student lost consciousness at Amity High School.

At about 12:45 p.m -- between the second and third lunch waves for high schoolers -- a student in the cafeteria passed out, becoming "unconscious and unresponsive," police say. According to reports, the cause was the pot-laced cracker, which the student had allegedly bought from another student. 

Administration cleared the cafeteria and cancelled the third lunch shift, according to a dispatch from Amity High Principal Charles Britton. High school medical staff and first responders treated the student, who was taken to the hospital, according to reports.

Police the student who had sold the cracker turned out to have more than one marijuana-laced cracker, and both students were arrested. They are scheduled to appear at New Haven Juvenile Court on November 19.

More information to follow.

Students' names and identifying information are withheld due to their minor status.

Davis Dunavin (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 04:40 AM
We'll have more on this, including comments from school officials, tomorrow morning.
Marie November 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Peanut butter and marijuana umh...where are the parents when this is being "baked'? We can continue to point fingers at the District. Having "deep and caring staff" is NOT enough.It's everyone's problem! FYI- Do you all know that BOW has a Drug and Alcohol Committee? A staff member from Amity is on that committee.Try and find out when the last meeting was held and what they have done. One person in town for many years is paid a grant to provide education etc, imagine! The only info about the committee I could find from Town Hall was someones cell number. I was also told from Town Hall that "they" didn't know if the committee was still active". Imagine? Maybe we need to start there? Hold people accountable who are suppose to be part of a process that obviously is NOT working. This person is getting paid to provide a service that many months I dared question! There are others in town that we need to get some accountability from! Parents as I have said before, we need to get together! Do something instead of comment in Patch. Chips is still available. I will arrange a meeting, post it and lets meet! We have to start somewhere.
Bob November 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Maybe the parents shouldn't expect schools to be their childrens parents all the time and step up and be a parent
Emma B November 14, 2012 at 04:12 PM
This is stupid. So one kid ate one too many pot-laced crackers? No ones ever died from marajuana and its now legally recreational in 2 states anyway. This is not at all indicative of a "serious" drug problem. And the commenter that wants to send her kids to private school, what, would she prefer they use coke instead? I attended both. It makes no difference.
kathy November 14, 2012 at 07:10 PM
@ Emma B. You are not aware of whats been going on at Amity if you think that this is an isolated incident or that it only involves pot. Some of the drugs the kids are doing are very heavy duty. It is not only dangerous, but it constantly interferes with the learning process. I've spoken with a teacher who said that he has kids in his classes who are stoned off their butts on a daily basis and that its not fair to the majority of the students who have to put up with it. I doubt that you are a parent and if you are, perhaps you are part of the problem.
kathy November 14, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Dr. Brady and Dr. Britton will continue to turn a blind eye to the significance of the problem. That's what they do. They will talk about it like it's a medical condition, like any other. They will deny that it effects the rights other students. Nothing new here. It will take the death of a student for them to take a stance
Andrew November 14, 2012 at 07:46 PM
The problem here is not the lack of education that students recieve about substance abuse, the problem is the lack of intellectual stimulation that occurs within the education system. There is a sufficient lack of the encouragement of critical reasoning and individual engagement in the public school environment. There is no outlet for these students who are using drugs to express themselves. How is a student supposed to appreciate education if the education system does not encourage the well-being of individuals alongside examining empirical truths. For example, History classes have become test preparatory classes, involving the memorization of a myopic view of world history from the American-European perspective. These students who use drugs aren't stupid they are probably just fed up with the lack of pluralistic growth that Amity provides.
Amity kid November 14, 2012 at 08:10 PM
agreed
Amity kid November 14, 2012 at 08:29 PM
No offense but you are insane and have no idea what you are talking about. sure there are kids doing coke, ecstasy, molly, etc and smoking weed and cigarettes and other things but its not a problem at this school. As it says in the article, they have found less and less in kids bags over the past year. I go to amity and i am friends with those kids. Last year i remember them getting taken out of class and getting arrested and being on probation time and time again. They have had drug dogs come into school (without telling the students) and smell every bag. They caught about 2 kids. Just because that kid was stupid enough to bring that to school (not to mention making it at all) and eating them without any other food that day does not mean we have a problem. Let me guess. Your kid is either a drug user and you really do not approve, or your kid is an angel and you have no real world experience with this issue. All of my friends that do/did drugs barely even do it anymore. They dont even smoke cigarettes that much anymore. The "drug problem" at Amity is diminishing and all of you parents need to chill out. These kids try these hardcore drugs once or twice and get over it (with the exception of a few). But what schools dont have these kids? The biggest problem you have to worry about at amity is pot and maybe cigarettes and like Emma B said, its legal in 2 states and its not even a big deal. People do not die from it and its not addictive. Amity does not have a problem.
Amity kid November 14, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Parents are the problem with those very few kids with real problems.
Vinnie Dee November 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Hey Amity Kid, you are proving everyone's point. That some people don't take it seriously. You said "All of my friends that do/did drugs barely do it all". Which means, they STILL DO it! Period. Instead of hurling insults at people accusing them of having kids that are drug users. Think about what you said in your diatribe. You just made their point more valid. Amity HAS a drug problem always did, always will unless something more severe is done. As a medical person, I have attended to way too many people who end up dead or at deaths door, becuase "all they did was marijuana" or "it was my first time", or "I only do drugs occasionally". Yeah, you look at their parents faces when you have to tell them 'Little Johnny or Jane may not make it through the night. Then come talk to me kid.
Amity kid November 15, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Every school is going to have kids who do drugs. When you were in high school ur school did too. What are some examples of "more severe" things to be done that they aren't already doing? And let me ask you something, how many kids from amity have died and/or were so sick that doctors have to tell their parents that they may not live through the night because of drug usage? Because i have not heard of one.
kathy November 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Keep talking Amity kid. You just don't have the life experience to understand the dangers of these drugs. Yes they do kill. Part of the problem is that most normal teens feel very invincible. parents can talk till they're blue in the face and some kids still won't believe it. We just don't want our students to die or disable themselves as a result of bad decisions...it only takes one time. We care...simple as that! We will never be able to control all drug use, but we should do all that we can and many of us feel that the school is falling short of their responsibilities. Drug dogs are available so why not use them? I am vigilant at home and I expect the school to be equally vigilant while school is in session.
Barbara T. November 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Bob how true that is. When I was in Amity we didn't even go to school chewing gum. And if you got caught some teacher's had you put it on your nose during class. Amity is not their to baby sit your child. Parents need to take charge and know what their child is up to. The tax payer's cannot afford to have a drug dog in the school 5 days a week.. .
Amity kid November 15, 2012 at 01:27 AM
But they have brought in drug dogs and every time they find nothing. Kids dont bring drugs to school every day. Unless you have dogs smell bags every day youre not going to find anything. I realize that drugs kill and that theyre bad. Im not stupid. All im saying is that problems with drugs in this school are deteriorating every year. Just because this one kid ate pot crackers on an empty stomach does not mean it happens all the time. I realize that you as parents are concerned but drug usage doesnt just stop happening overnight. It takes time. And just because im not older doesnt mean i dont have "life experience." As a student, i have more of a sense of reality and know more about drugs than parents do. Believe me, ive seen people on drugs and get pretty sick from them. I have seen their effects, trust me. You dont know my life. And yes kids do feel invincible but we are also not stupid. I am not some stupid snot nosed kid trying to defend drugs because im not. I know that it is a problem im just simply saying that it's not as big of a problem as you make it out to be. We are not as bad as other schools. Blaming the amity staff for these incidents is useless and ridiculous. Theyre doing everything they can. Cameras, drug dogs, security guards, smoke detectors, etc. What else is there to do? This is a touchy topic i get it but some things being said by you parents are just ridiculous and rash. I didnt mean to sound rude but its just my personal experience as a student.
Michael November 15, 2012 at 01:41 AM
I agree Amity kid, drugs are absolutely an issue however the only information that is sent out relating to Amity are a few newspaper article and this site. I'd say your opinion becomes very biased then. As a high school student I too have seen first hand accounts of drug use however it is not as severe as so many of you believe it to be. So many precautions have been taken to prevent this usage yet it is useless to continue to strip away privileges and penalize all of the student body when it is only a handful of students involved in these isolated incidents. Teens are taught the detrimental effects of drugs time and time again yet due to our nature we are curious, just like all humans. While drugs are dangerous substances, some of these comments simply do not make sense. I understand you are concerned however these events are blown way out of proportion by the biased nature of these articles. The fact is you don't know or understand the environment at Amity and by that fact you shouldn't leave comments making it appear as if you do.
Barbara T. November 15, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Kathy was that a teacher in the Amity system? If so why hasn't it been reported to remove the kids from his class if they are stoned off their butts as he said? The other factor is their are a lot of adults doing the same thing. Big bust in Town going back but nothing else ever became of that. So it might of been a child or a adult.in that case.
Amity kid November 15, 2012 at 01:51 AM
This is Amity kids mom ... I think all parties have made valid points. However, there is one point that has not been mentioned; where are the parents? I am not a major fan of the Amity staff but they seem to be the only topic for solution. Parents are responsible for constantly keeping this subject open with their children. Our schools have implemented programs as well as all the safety issues mentioned by my child. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child but it begins and must continue in the home.
Barbara T. November 15, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Channel 8 new's had it on tonight on the 5:00 news on the drug arrest at Amity High.So know the news media is in on it also.
Amity kid November 15, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Again, Amity kids mom .... Whats your point?
kathy November 15, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Michael and Amity Kid... I never said that you were "stupid" and no Amity kid you do not have the life experience to understand the way that the parents do...that does not make you stupid. You have not lost 3 classmates to drug related issues as I have. Most adults who grew up in the 70's and 80's have seen tragic results of drug use. It's a reality. Parents do need to take on the responsibility for their kids, raise them right and offer support and supervision. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution. I believe that the school should allow the dogs to search the kids unannounced. Kids are far from stupid and and some really need the support. You may look at it as a punishment, but it's not. Drug searches won't prevent all overdoses, but it's available and we should use what we have.
kathy November 15, 2012 at 02:36 AM
I agree Amity Kids mom. I just feel that these kids are smart and know that they should keep the drugs on their person in order to not get caught. random dog searches of students will do more to get the drugs out of the school. I take full responsibility for my kids and I think that we all should. We speak on a regular basis about drug issues and good decision making. I personally find it sad that it's not enough to make sure that a parent is home to supervise the kids get togethers, because so many parents will allow drug and alcohol use in the "safety" of their home. Also, my kids have seen more drug overdoses in school than I have seen in my lifetime. That indicates that there is a real problem. I care about these kids and won't ignore the issue.
Amity kid November 15, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Yes i agree and im sorry to hear about those people but that is not amity. We are not that bad. The school has done unannounced searches before and will continue to do them. There is nothing more the school can do. I guess they can have them a little more often but our tax payers view that as a waste of money. Especially since they never find anything. I know that there is the potential for disaster but all we are saying is that amity is doing their best and there is nothing we can do. These kids will make bad decisions. Its human nature. But we're talking about 3% of the school. Not everyone has drug problems. Like i said no one really does drugs and the kids who do, do not really deserve to be in our school. They do not try in class, they start problems, and not to sound mean but are a bit of a waste of tax money to take care of. If they do not care why should we? Like I said, amity is doing their best and there really is not much else to do. We have drug ed classes, we have tight security and cameras, and we have drug dogs periodically. Now it is up to the students to make the right decisions based on what was taught and given to them. We cant control people. They control themselves.
Davis Dunavin (Editor) November 15, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Just a reminder to avoid identifying details with students -- we don't want to personally call anyone out, and they are minors. Thanks!
kathy November 15, 2012 at 04:23 AM
I agree Amity Kid that the kids who are the problem should not be in the school. They do disrupt the classrooms and effect the rights of the majority of the kids who are making good choices. This is why Amity needs to take a stronger stance against drug use in the school. Back in my day these kids were offered night school. I'm sure from your posts that you don't appreciate their destructive behaviors either. My kids are put out by it as well. In addition to getting them away from the good kids, they need help, not enabling. Turning a blind eye enables these few who have such a huge impact on the school as a whole. Thank you for your well thought out participation in this discussion. I appreciate your mature approach to the topic...including disagreement.
Marie November 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Davis, I will contact Chips today and send you the date for a potential meeting. Engaging in discussion on whether or not there are drugs in Amity is a waste of time. Drugs are everywhere and we all know Amity is no exception. Again, as I have said in previous comments, lets get together and share thoughts and ideas about what WE can do to help and protect our children while they are in school.Who knows, maybe we can be part of a change. None of us likes to go to school conferences and see action news broadcasting about this incident. By the way, my children graduated from Amity in the 90's. Unfortunately I know too well the effects that drugs have on a family. We will see how many of us show up at Chips.Lets be part of a solution and not part of the problem. When one points a finger remember, 4 are pointing back at you.
Over 40 years of this November 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
1.Kids are parent’s responsibility, 2. Follow Amity's rules and State laws, 3. Drugs are illegal, 4. Break the law get arrested, 5. Break the rules get expelled (ZERO tolerance), 6. See #1. This circle puts the responsibility where it should be. Let parents deal with the product of their own home.
peter tumi November 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM
It is being reported now that there wasn't Marijuana in the Peanut Butter.....The Peanut Butter used was recalled for Salmonella. Stomach virus anyone???
Amity kid November 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM
They are also saying that he is allergic to peanuts and did not know it...? Who knows
Concerned Parent November 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Vinnie Dee, bro, you don't get any kudos points for trying to sound intelligent through your use of esoteric words such as "diatribe" in your attempt to contend your points. It mostly just makes you sound like the argument you're presenting doesn't have enough validity, so therefore you attempt to sell your baseless points through the use of, frankly, quite trivial rhetoric. Fact of the matter is, drugs are going to be prevalent in any school system because it is an intrinsic quality of some youths to experiment with mind altering substances. Whether you're at "Coke" Rosemary Hall or Amity, there are nationally and internationally proven statistics representing the fact that kids use mind altering substances. Perhaps harm reduction and education through programs proven effective is a more feasible route if you think Amity has such a grave problem on their hands. What do you think, Vinnie Dee?

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