Schools seek to expel eight students

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Eight students are facing expulsion and possible legal action after authorities conducted surprise searches at the city’s two high schools Tuesday.

Shortly after classes began, officers from the Suffolk Police Department and the Virginia State Police, along with four state police narcotics dogs, searched corridors, randomly selected classrooms and the parking lots of Nansemond River and Lakeland high schools, said Officer Michael E. Simpkins, spokesman for the Suffolk Police Department. The dogs came from Winchester, Williamsburg and Richmond.

All violations were found only in the cars parked in the schools’ lots, said Bethanne Bradshaw, spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools.

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At Lakeland, officers found knives in two cars, a box of shotgun shells in another car and a box cutter in the fourth vehicle, Bradshaw said.

A knife was discovered in a car at Nansemond River, Bradshaw said. Another car contained drug paraphernalia and a packet believed to be marijuana, while bags of marijuana seeds were found in a two other cars.

The students – four boys at Nansemond River, three boys and a girl at Lakeland – have all been suspended and will be recommended for expulsion during hearings to be held within the next 10 days.

&uot;The School Board’s weapons policy is zero tolerance,&uot; said Bradshaw.

The drug paraphernalia has been sent away for further testing, Simpkins said. Depending upon the results, legal charges may be brought against students.

The search has been planned since July, Simpkins said.