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Middle School Drug Bust Is Wake-Up Call For Parents

6:28 PM, May 9, 2011   |    comments
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MCLEAN, Va.  (WUSA) -- A drug bust at McLean's Cooper Middle is sending shock waves through the community.   

"I did not expect the age to be that young," said Tina Moazami, a mother of two boys at nearby schools.

Fairfax County Police say two 13-year-old boys at Cooper Middle School have been charged with possession of marijuana on school property.  The charge is a misdemeanor, but Officer Bud Walker says the investigation is continuing, and there could be more charges.

Walker said a misdemeanor stays on a juvenile's record for five years after he/she turns 18.  No students have been charged with distribution at this point, but if they are, that is a felony and "never goes away, contrary to popular belief," said Walker.

School officials say approximately 25 students have been interviewed as part of a school investigation, and a number of students are facing disciplinary action as a result.

The drug bust at Cooper happened on May 2.  It was Cooper's principal who informed parents of 6th graders who will be attending the school next year. 

Moazami thinks the principal did the right thing in getting the information out soon for the whole community.

"I'm glad she didn't try to hide it," said Moazami.  She said she plans to talk to her 12-year-old boy, so he's prepared and knows how to say 'no.'

Officer Walker says parents should begin talking to their children about drugs in the fifth grade.  Explain the terms, the type of drugs and what to expect will help demystify illegal drugs, Walker says.  

Walker says when he was a school resource officer, he saw students' grades plummet when they started smoking pot. 

He says parents who think pot is harmless are mistaken.  "It kills ambition.  It kills drive."

"Education is very important in my family.  Drug use could prevent him from achieving his goals," said Moazami.

Walker says parents who suspect drug use are often reluctant to search their child's bedroom.   "They need to search it.   It's your house.  It's your child's future," said Walker.

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