Posted by Terry Alexander - email
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - 16 middle school students are facing 32 drug charges in Henrico County. Police say a student told a resource officer that another child was distributing a prescription drug.
The students face felony charges. Two face distribution of a controlled substance and the other 14 face possession charges. The drug at the center of story is Adderall, which is used to treat ADHD. It's a controlled substance students aren't even allowed to have on school grounds.
Diane Hess says she's "totally shocked" after hearing the news of drugs in a middle school. One of her three children attends Tuckahoe Middle, where three students face charges. The alleged main culprit is a 12-year-old boy her son could pass in the halls every day.
"With what's going on in the world today, it's not as much unexpected. It's more shocking because my kid goes to that school," she said.
For Hess, the story hits a little too close to home. Two of her children actually have ADHD.
"My son does take medication and it helps with his schooling. To think that a parent wouldn't notice their kids medication missing? My kid is 17-years-old and takes his medication every morning. I never have to worry about him taking it to school or anything," said Hess.
The 12-year-old Tuckahoe student is accused of giving Adderall to a 14-year-old girl at Byrd Middle School. Both face distribution charges for allegedly giving the drug to 14 other youngsters.
Police say when it comes to prescription drugs, they're concentrating on one message.
"Keep them under lock and key, under your control because they can abuse them just like the illegal drugs," said Henrico County Police Lt. Doug Perry.
It's also the focus of a town hall meeting set for Thursday evening. It's the first of its kind for the county prevention coalition, as police see more prescription drug abuse.
"It's now another thing I have to be afraid of," said Hess.
The school system says the town hall meeting was actually organized before the incidents at Tuckahoe and Byrd Middle Schools ever came to light. Officials hope parents now know this can happen to their children and will be motivated to attend the event.
That meeting takes place Thursday, May 14 in the Hermitage High School library. It begins at 6:00 p.m. Hermitage is located at 8301 Hungary Spring Road.