SC high school raises vigilance for drug use

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - Officials at Hilton Head Island High School say they are searching students and checking their hall passes more closely after several fell ill after taking a combination of a prescription drug and a cold-and-cough medicine.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports (http://bit.ly/1f4jE2d) school principal Amanda O'Nan couldn’t say how many students might have been part of the drug use, but she adds that there have been more instances than normal since Jan. 22,

O'Nan identified the drugs as Xanax and Coricidin, which she said can cause students to fall into a deep sleep when taken in combination.

The principal said eight drug-related incidents have led to disciplinary action, and 911 has been called twice in the past week because of drug problems.

Beginning next week, the school will make announcements every morning about the negative effects of the drugs and conduct meetings with each grade to explain the situation. An anonymous tip line also will be set up.

Students caught under the influence face an eight-day suspension, a hearing to recommend expulsion and enrollment in an intervention program.

If a student is found to be under the influence, a search of their person and belongings might be warranted, O'Nan said. The number of searches has increased since Jan. 22.

In the past week alone, O'Nan said, some 20 students have been searched after administrators either received a tip or suspected the student was high.

“I have been very up front with the students that I think there is a problem and we are on our toes and my door is open, but I also have been clear about the consequences, and we are not going to tolerate this behavior in our building,” O'Nan said. “I don’t want to be planning a funeral for these students; I want to be planning enriching activities for them to do.”

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Information from: The Island Packet, http://www.islandpacket.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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