Scandal stirring over pot brownies at Corning school
A scandal involving accusations of a cover-up and preferential treatment for the son of a Corning Union Elementary School District board member who brought marijuana-laced brownies to school, has school officials feeling a bit blindsided.
Board member Laura Crane’s eighth-grade son brought the brownies to Maywood Middle School on Feb. 10, and shared them with five other students, said District Superintendent Catherine Reimer.
“These public complaints completely blindsided us,” Reimer said. “No one has ever called or complained to me or the administration at Maywood school, but instead, a month after the fact, went to the media without any thought to the repercussions to the family involved.”
The complaints were first aired by a local television news outlet, and included accusations of a district cover-up by parents.
However, no individual parent has stood up to be identified.
“There was absolutely no cover-up, and I stand by my decision,” Reimer said. “District officials followed board policy and legal protocols.”
The student who brought the brownies to school received a five-day suspension, after another student went to school administration and reported what happened.
Crane could not immediately be reached for comment.
Maywood principal David Cory and the school’s vice principal called the involved students in and interviewed them individually before talking to the student who brought the brownies to the school, according to the superintendent.
“He was very forthcoming and honest as to what he had done,” Reimer said. “It is unfortunate and disturbing that a group of parents without the knowledge of this confidential student discipline issue took it upon themselves to inaccurately report the situation to the media.”
Referring to what Reimer considers the “facts” of the confidential student disciplinary action, she said no children were hospitalized and there was no possibility of retrieving or verifying the marijuana brownies except by the honesty of the students involved, which is the reason the Corning Police Department was not notified.
School administrators did notify parents of other students involved. The district took no disciplinary action against any other student, Reimer said.
“The district’s past practice, extending back to the 2003-2004 academic year, has been on a first offense for the possession of marijuana to find that expulsion is inappropriate and to suspend the student for five days,” she explained.
Reimer said there have been seven incidents of students suspensions for possession of marijuana on a first offense since 2003-04.
“The district’s policy and practice has been to recommend for expulsion on a second offense for possession of marijuana. This is consistent with Education Code, the laws that govern the state of California, and other districts’ policies and practices within the state,” Reimer said.