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UPDATE: Nine students suspended for bringing ‘pot brownies’ into Ashburn middle school

Update, 2:01 p.m., Jan. 27

According to Liz Mills, spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the incident actually occurred on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 25. Yet, a Sheriff’s Office school resource officer wasn’t notified until after 5 p.m. on Thursday, according to earlier information from Sheriff Mike Chapman.

“In the future, the Sheriff’s Office hopes that incidents are coordinated at the earliest stage possible,” Mills said.

School Board Public Information Officer Wayde Byard said the school actually wasn’t aware of the extent of the incident until dismissal on Thursday, and notified the Sheriff’s Office shortly thereafter.

“We didn’t wait on this,” Byard said, and indicated that school administration separated the students for questioning.

The nine students, including five boys and four girls, have been suspended, Mills said. The group apparently mixed together marijuana and brownie batter earlier in the week before bringing the items to school. Each student was scheduled to meet with a school resource officer today to determine their length of suspensions.

All nine students are 8th graders.

Update, 10:49 a.m., Jan. 27

Loudoun County Public Schools Public Information Office Wayde Byard confirmed that nine students were involved in the incident. And despite what students proclaimed on social media feeds, nobody is jumping the gun on suspensions or expulsions.

“Students make mistakes, and we want to help them fix the mistakes,” Byard said. “We’re not focused on punishment, we’re focused on how to help these kids.”

Yet, Byard said having controlled substances in school is a serious event and is punishable by suspension or expulsion in the worst case.

Byard indicated that marijuana brought into a middle school is rare, but that Loudoun County Public Schools fields a substance abuse incident “once or twice a year” at the middle school level.

On Jan. 6, six students were found intoxicated at J. Michael Lunsford Middle School in South Riding, the last documented case of Loudoun middle school substance abuse. In that incident, the six kids ranged from 12-14 in age and were determined to be in different states of intoxication. None of the students required medical attention and the school notified the parents.

This is a developing story.

Original story, 9:53 p.m. Jan. 26

Reports of students bringing brownies infused with marijuana into Farmwell Station Middle School on Jan. 26 were confirmed by Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman.

Chapman said the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the situation at 5:45 p.m. and that there appeared to be a handful of students involved.

Liz Mills, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, had said at approximately 5:27 p.m. that the agency was unaware of the situation.

Loudoun County Public Schools Public Information Office Wayde Byard said that he also wasn’t aware of the circumstances at around 5:30 p.m.

Chapman said that the Sheriff’s Office did not conduct the investigation, and it is unclear at this time whether there will be charges. He added that the Sheriff’s Office will work with Loudoun County Public Schools to investigate the matter further.

Social media sites Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with discussion surrounding Farmwell Station Middle School claiming that up to 20 students had been expelled.

Sherryl Loya, the school’s principal, shot down those reports with a release from the ConnectEd system shortly after 9 p.m. The phone and email message was sent to every parent and staff member associated with the middle school, and also made it to Facebook.

“Good evening, this is Sherryl Loya, the principal of Farmwell Station Middle School. There was a great deal of social media activity tonight stating that up to 20 students have been expelled from Farmwell Station for an alleged offense. This is not true. Our school system’s disciplinary system does not impose instant punishments for any offense. When severe punishment, such as a suspension or expulsion, is imposed, it is done only after a thorough investigation at the school and review at the central office. I’m asking you please do not contribute to the misinformation being spread. Thank you.”

After Chapman confirmed the incident, Byard said he couldn’t comment on the situation, saying officials are not allowed to talk about discipline-related issues that involve students.


the fact that this case has not been properly investigated is truly newsworthy. however, the Loudoun Times seems to believe that their initial reporting of this case is sufficient. Memo from Loudoun Times: ‘Greetings backpocket of LCPS !’
LCPS has utterly turned its back on the families involved in this complete mess.
the female student who supplied the brownies in question has never declared if there was, or was not, marijuana in these brownies.
She did however tweet. the night that she and her friend coercively distributed these brownies, of the pride she felt at the attention she received for bringing ‘brownies’ to school.
The nine accused students were drug tested immediately and none of those tested were found to have a trace of illegal drugs in their systems.
However, these 9 students were suspended IMMEDIATELY, on the basis of the statements submitted by the girl in question and her co-conspirator who distributed the brownies.
This punishment happened (quite to the contrary of the false statements put forth by the Farmwell Station principal and the LCPS PR dept) BEFORE   adequate questioning or investigation had been performed.
Meanwhile, this sad sack in Waterford who can’t get his kids to school on time distracts the populous from a story with real repercussions.
The families affected by this embarrassing fumble on the part of LCPS, must spend huge amounts of money to try to defend themselves from these scurrilous charges.. and the crack LCPS legal team says the equivalent of, ‘we own you bitches, case closed.’

To: Up in smoke.

First off. Im a woman. Not a man.
Secondly, Your ignorant impression of me is obviously wrong. I was never addicted to any sort of drug. I tried it out a few times when I was younger. Didnt you? Come on. Dont be shy. Just because I have the audacity to be honest with my mistakes on the internet where everyone can see and you have the arrogance and shame to cover yours and point fingers at innocent people doesn’t make anything you say too credible. I think you people should give these parents a break was all I was trying to say, and let the law enforcement do their job. (Unless you think you are more qualified.) Which by the sounds of it, I would say not. If all you people think you can do a better job at handling this? Then do it. Get involved in your community to help prevent things like this in a wisely political manner rather than accuse an innocent twenty year old girl who was just trying to voice her opinion to you arrogant pieces of work. So, furthermore, Thanks “Up in smoke.” You made a complete a** out of yourself. For the record for any one else, I have never, and will never have the intent to distribute drugs.
Thank you.

You got a good point there 23 years seems like high qualification to me. I like the Sheriff name or call them cops, I don’t care much for peace officer or for that matter Secretary of Defence. Give me the Sheriff or the Secretary of War just so the so-called bad boys know the legal bad-ass is about to bring the hammer down

Who is Sheriff Mike Chapman?

” . . . . 23 years as a Special Agent with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)”.

Get used to it . . . your “peace officer” is a thing of the past Amerika.

“When severe punishment, such as a suspension or expulsion, is imposed, it is done only after a thorough investigation at the school and review at the central office.”  - Principal Loya

that is what i call a HUM-DINGER !
a boldfaced HUM-DINGER!
a shameless, boldfaced, HUM-DINGER !

I wonder if the Loudoun Times might follow up on that one line.

The ‘investigation’ conducted on Thursday afternoon, prior to any parental notification, resulted in suspensions of 9 kids beginning the very next day… 
but somehow Mr. Byard felt assured to report, “Students make mistakes, and we want to help them fix the mistakes,” Byard said. “We’re not focused on punishment, we’re focused on how to help these kids.”

i humbly submit that Del Rio restaurant in Leesburg has a comedy open-mic on Saturday evenings. Loya and Byard (and that ridiculoous schmoe from the Loudoun County BOE) might have a solid 15 minute set.  Eugene Delgaudio might be willing to do warm-up for this crack comedy team from the Loudoun Co. Admin building.

Yo Up In Smoke i did say I would like our Sheriff to follow the pot trail and bust the wiggley biggleys. Is there a current update concerning this?

Now we know where the kids got the pot - from 20 yr old “What a Joke”.  He moved on from smoking the stuff in Middle School, drinking & drugs in HS and now selling to the Middle Schoolers. Good roll model.

Wow. Ignorance is truly out here, and VERY apparent in this thread. How dare any of you people blame the actions of these kids on the Parents! And judge them on THEIR parenting skills. For any of you judging how to parent, for all you know, YOUR kid could be making some good ol’ fashioned ‘pot brownies’ as your reading this. Do you really know what your kid is doing at all times? If yes? I highly doubt it. And if you are one of those parents who confine your children in a cage of nothing to shield them from what you PERCEIVE as the “horrible outside world.” Then shame on you as well for not giving another human being that you gave birth to, to make a life for them self and discover who THEY genuinely are, without you pushing your ignorant views upon them. I’m in my twenties and do NOT have any children, but I can tell you that my Parents raised me perfectly. They didn’t do anything wrong! Yet, I still involved myself with things I KNEW were wrong. It’s a part of growing up; Making mistakes, and hopefully learning from them. If you don’t make any mistakes early in life, when do you ever learn?

And Parents, PLEASE do not act like you all are saints. I’m sure a lot of you have at least tried Marijuana at least ONCE in your lifetime. Despite 70+ years of criminal prohibition, marijuana still remains widely popular among Americans, with over 102 million Americans (41 percent of the U.S. population) having used it during their lifetimes, 26 million (10 percent) having used it in the past year, and over 15 million (6 percent) admitting that they use it regularly. So by all means, if you want to judge these poor parents you are ridiculing, then you might as well ridicule half of the countries Parents!

These problems will continue to exist until the end of time. It has nothing to do with Law Enforcement and how they go about handling it, It has nothing to do with how someone was parented. It has EVERYTHING to do with an individuals actions. People are a result of their OWN thoughts which are played out into actions. Should they be punished? Yes, because its the law. Should the parents be ridiculed? No. Absolutely not. Kids should learn to take responsibility for THEIR actions and not to blame it on the actions of their Parents. They will live a miserable life of unaccountability if they do not learn that.

Anyway, My point is. I’m 20 years old. I smoked pot in middle school. I drank and did other drugs in early high school. My parents? They were great. Never did anything wrong and played by the rules. I figured it out on my own, and I am doing just fine for myself and am Drug/alcohol free. I learned to become responsible for my actions early, and to never have the idea to blame it on my parents like some of you arrogant people have assumed to do. YOU people are acting like children.
Grow up! And just remember. When you assume, you make an “ASS out of U and ME!”
Also, when you point one finger folks, you’ve got three pointing right back at you.

What no one is asking is “Where did they get the weed in the 1st place?”

I live in Ashburn.  It is a horrendous place.  Lefty Hippies are everywhere.  These kids deserve punishment for being so dumb as to bring these brownies to school.  They should have eaten them for breakfast, or at the bus stop.

Parents, please fix this issue with your kids. Know where they are and who they hangout with.  If you don’t, we all will be in deep sh*t.

Hey zumba. I don’t think our Sheriff is looking to make a big splash with finding out where the controlled substance came from. I for one would like the so-called pot trail to be followed up on and bust the dopes selling and providing the stuff. Imagine where we would be without the DEA sounds scary to me. By the way Chapman got about 26,500 votes, would your friends vote for you much less a informed public?

Tired of double standards/hypocrites… when did anyone ever say anything about sterling or anything about “dirt bag illegals”?  Not one time did anyone put any thought or idea about illegals or even anything racial into any of this.  race and/or gender has nothing to do with any of this.  And neither does location of where anyone lives, do you really think things like this don’t happen anywhere else in the country?  NEWSFLASH it happens all around the world!  why don’t you get your head out of the stereotypical sand and I’ll take mine out of the ashburn one.  Thanks for the advise

To “slowdown everyone”.  So if you know the kids and they are from Ashburn, the it’s “kids will be kids”.  I suppose if they are from Sterling and you don’t know them, then it’s “dirtbag illegals at it again!”  You need to pull you head out of that Ashburn sand.

Let’s put it this way ... we had kid who was selling drugs out of his house down the street from us about 10 years ago, in Ashburn, less than a half a mile from Farmwall Middle School. He shot and killed another teen in his grandparents’ basement and subsequently went to jail. Before he went to jail, there was substantially more crime in the neighborhood. Gunshots. Neighbors were so scared they wouldn’t agree to video monitoring. Undesirables in the neighborhood.

This kind of behavior in kids is usually the result of parents not being clear with kids (clear meaning that some kids need a verbal “sledgehammer” between their eyes to get the message) about consequences. If my kid did that, and brought that in my house, they would be enrolling in military school. Period. I don’t need that liability. Plus, I would press charges against whoever sold to the kids, if I found out. Then I would hire a private detective to trail the drug dealer and turn the evidence over to the police.

Further, if there are younger kids in the home, your kid doing drugs puts them at risk as well as the other kids in the school.

As mentioned by others here, pot is a gateway drug. Particularly if you have a dealer, who also sells the other stuff (it’s called a “captive” market for anyone familiar with marketing). Again, this is a danger to everyone involved. There is the potential of further entanglement with criminals, loan sharks, etc. where you will find YOUR HOUSE and HOME come under threat by these elements either due to a dispute or an unpaid obligation. The number of unintended consequences are numerous. For these kids, they might know the dealer ... but do they know the dealer’s supplier? Do they know all of their dealer’s associates and friends. It’s IMPOSSIBLE for them to know this. If they don’t then THEY DO NOT KNOW what they are getting into. Again, if you are one the parents of one of these kids who get the “you don’t know what you are talking about” response. Then military school is the best option. Military school will teach your kid that they really don’t know what they are doing or what they are talking about and will provide the control for the self-control that all teens / early 20 somethings lack in various degrees.

The school should of disciplined some of the kids more heavily, like expelling the kids that made the brownies instead of merely suspending them.  Marijuana is a gateway drug and could lead to usage of more hard drugs, for example: methamphetamine and heroin.  As a doctor, when I worked in California, I saw patients having to deal with the destructive consequences of crystal meth to their bodies, careers, and families.  The commonality of how most of the patients got into meth was that they always started smoking pot or drinking alcohol at a young age with their friends.  Also, there are drug tests that can test the presence of marijuana in the body (hair, blood, & urine) after a few days, even months.  Consequently, police wouldn’t necessarily need left over brownies to convict the students.  More important then punishment, I hope the school system gets the kids into drug counseling, so they can move on from this experience to lead productive lives.

Ever thus to deadbeats, Lebowski.

The more interesting aspect of this story is likely not to be about possibly intoxicated kids, but the relationship between the school district and law enforcement, and how LCPS handled the alleged incident. The media reports that even though the school system believed a crime had been committed, it was nearly two business days before school officials notified even the on-site LCSO school resource officer. When this type of thing happened before, it ended up costing the county tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal defense fees and an assistant principal his job.

While there are directly conflicting stories about the consequences for the perps, past, current, and future (therefore it is unclear and uncertain as to what may happen to any “guilty” students), no one seems to be focusing on whether there is proof anything actually happened.

Admittedly, being privy to only school scuttlebutt, media reports, and a couple sources close to the accused limits my knowledge of the facts, it appears it is challenging to charge the students with anything in violation of school rules—much less criminal—since there doesn’t appear to be any direct evidence. All reports say the school learned of the pot-laced brownies through hearsay and Facebook postings, If Farmwell Station staff didn’t confiscate the confections, then nothing could have been turned over to law enforcement for testing at a state crime lab; a positive report from such a facility would be necessary for misdemeanor charges to be filed against the children and other charges against any adults who may have provided the controlled substance to them. If indeed there ever was any marijuana in the first place—keep in mind that all we appear to have as evidence are social network posting and after-the-fact reports from juveniles.

It will be interesting to see what level of burden of proof the school systems applies in “convicting” the students, if that occurs.

to start off, I know the kids involved in the situation and I also know the families.  Yes at times these kids can be a hand full but all-in-all these kids are good kids and all come from good families.  To all the angles and people of high society and have never done anything wrong; the people who wants to jump on their pedestal, what happened to kids will be kids?  Do I condone and agree with what they did?  No I don’t, but like anyone else in here, I’ve made my mistakes in my life and I have learned from them.  So before everyone jumps down the throats of everyone involved, take a look back at your mistakes.  So if people want to sit on their cloud of judgement and rain down hell, fire and brimstone, why don’t you get the whole story before you judge.  Your not better then anyone else who looks at things on the outside then criticizes everything.

“And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Counter Melody To Above Verse:
Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.”  CS & N

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