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Police: Minors Brought Marijuana to Leadership Conference

Three 16-year-old Fairfax County students arrested for possession of substance during off-campus DECA meeting.

Three 16-year-old girls were arrested last week in Springfield for allegedly being in possession of marijuana at an off-campus event.

Officer Bud Walker, a spokesman for Fairfax County Police, say the teenagers were arrested at Waterford Receptions, an event venue that was hosting a regional high school leadership conference at the time of their arrests last Tuesday.

They were each charged with possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

On that day, Waterford Receptions hosted a fall leadership conference for several DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) clubs in Northern Virginia, part of an international group that trains young entrepreneurs in marketing, hospitality and other fields. 

Walker said officers responded to the address at 11:11 a.m. Tuesday. The conference was held at the location from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ryan Witzig, the DECA specialist for the Virginia chapters, confirmed several Fairfax County schools were represented at the DECA conference in Springfield, including Annandale High School, Chantilly High School, George C. Marshall High School, Hayfield Secondary School, James Madison High School, Lake Braddock Secondary, McLean High School, Mount Vernon High School, Oakton High School, Robinson Secondary School, Tysons Classroom and West Springfield High School.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre declined to comment on the incident, citing student privacy policies.

According to the Fairfax County Public Schools Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, students who use or possess marijuana while at a school-sponsored activity receive a 10-day suspension from school and a recommendation for expulsion.

The handbook says the division superintendent then holds a hearing "to determine whether a disciplinary action other than expulsion is appropriate."

It goes on to say "in any case, the School Board or Division Superintendent may determine, based on the facts of the particular case, that special circumstances exist and that another disciplinary action is appropriate."

Voice October 13, 2012 at 02:42 AM
This is cyber bulling. You barley know what happened in the situation and you're writing about 16 year old girls? How old are you? These girls are probably going through hell right not trying to get back into school. How does posting this article in any way help the community. You're only ruining their lives and I hope you can live with that for the rest of your life Lauren. Before you start writing an article about what you think happened you should get your facts right.
Andrew Johnson October 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM
When I wrote I must have miss used my words. I said there are rules to every thing and there is a price to be paid. But I really think fairfax takes it way over the top. My son has gone through this and when you go up against the board for your meeting they are tough mean and your children has no rights. A criminal on the streets has more rights then my son when you are up against Fairfax. For first timers they should do community service for a month and with them out of school for 2 weeks is well enough. 2 students in the past have taken there own lives because of Fairfax. They say they have changed there ways lets see if they are true .
annon October 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM
If the schools and police caught every student that engaged in these activities.. schools would be a ghost town. They're teenagers, these things happen. People who don't know the girls who got caught and write on here saying how they should be punished isn't the way to deal with something like this. Sure put your two cents in and state you opinions, not as if anyone really cares, but don't take the situation into your own hands and say how they should be punished. Like some people said before they're all going through hell right now and if they could go back I'm sure they'd change they're choices in a heart beat; but they can't, and thats fine. Everyone makes mistakes, it takes a strong person to learn from those mistakes. I know these girls are strong and will learn and make it through, but these heartless comments aren't going to help whatsoever. You can't say they were being stupid kids because they decided to use a medicinal herb that's been prevalent throughout history for its benefits rather than risks; the only risks are ones we've created, making it illegal. I'm not going to sit here and try and fight the issue of marijuana legalization, but rather say that these girls weren't being "stupid" or "delinquents", rather curious kids. Community service or drug counseling as Janet put sounds a lot better than ruining these kids lives right as they are beginning..
Concerened Citizen December 11, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Thank you Janet. Couldn't have said it better !!! The Prohibition on pot - what a farce. Not to mention the Scarlet letter for these kids... Counsel them - no more. WE have substance abuse problems in this country because of these Puritanical ideals that are ridiculous.
Dave Webster December 11, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Diana, I personally like the ability for readers to post anonymously. Let's not forget the the Federalist Papers were published under assumed names. Also, Benjamin Franklin regularly allowed pen names to be used in his publications (Including his own pen names.)

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