Police: Pot Crackers Responsible for Amity Cafeteria Incident

An Amity High student lost consciousness last week after allegedly eating pot-laced crackers at lunch, but Superintendent Brady says the school is well-equipped to respond to drugs.


School officials have given another look to Amity's drug prevention / treatment programs following a November 7 incident in which a student lost consciousness after allegedly eating a saltine cracker with a peanut butter and marijuana mixture baked into it during lunch. (See original story below.)

Superintendent John Brady says a presentation to the Board of Education Monday night suggested to him Amity was well-equipped and making progress.

"Nobody at Amity High School is denying there are students who struggle with substance abuse issues," Brady told Patch. "Nobody's denying there's students here who have those problems. But we have a very well-staffed, very experienced array of services that we use to instruct in a preventative way with students and then respond when we see students who have gotten into trouble."

Brady says the school district is prepared, and so far successful, in dealing with drugs at school. Monday night's presentation to the Board of Education suggested about "one to two percent of students," he said -- and added that administrators believe the school has actually seen a decrease in drugs at Amity High School.

"Two or three years ago, when students were searched, we'd find something -- a pipe, a lighter, a cigarette -- and the rate at which [searches] would turn up some material was much higher than it is now. Now, when we have suspicion and we search, we're not finding anything. We believe there's less material and less substances in the school."

Brady says schools introduce mandatory-curriculum programs that deal with the physiological and psychological dangers of drugs in 7th grade, and that higher-level classes addressing drugs tend to have "well-subscribed" enrollment. The school has a "deep, experienced and capable staff" in psychology and outreach counseling, as well as a counselor who works specifically on substance abuse issues.

Brady says experts tell him "they've never seen a high school as well staffed with support staff to deal with students who are experiencing difficulties with substance abuse or have so many preventive programs in place."

Some parents and other residents don't think the district has gone far enough -- and say the problem has gotten out of hand.

"It's getting worse and worse and you've lost control," writes Sue Ellen on Bethwood Patch.

On Orange Patch, kathy asks, "What will it take for people to wake up? Perhaps this could have been avoided...perhaps next time it will result in a death. Very sad."

"Starting to save for private high school now for my kids," says commenter Stacy from Greensprays.

And Brad Marcus asks, "Does a child have to die there before they take this situation seriously?" (See below for more comments.)


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ORIGINAL: Tuesday, 4 p.m.

According to just-released reports, police say a saltine cracker with a peanut butter and marijuana mixture baked into it was responsible for a November 7 incident in which a student lost consciousness at Amity High School.

At about 12:45 p.m -- between the second and third lunch waves for high schoolers -- a student in the cafeteria passed out, becoming "unconscious and unresponsive," police say. According to reports, the cause was the pot-laced cracker, which the student had allegedly bought from another student. 

Administration cleared the cafeteria and cancelled the third lunch shift, according to a dispatch from Amity High Principal Charles Britton. High school medical staff and first responders treated the student, who was taken to the hospital, according to reports.

Police said the student who had sold the cracker turned out to have more than one marijuana-laced cracker, and both students were arrested. They are scheduled to appear at New Haven Juvenile Court on November 19.

Students' names and identifying information are withheld due to their minor status.

kathy November 14, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Dr. Brady and Dr. Britton will continue to turn a blind eye to the significance of the problem. That's what they do. They will talk about it like it's a medical condition, like any other. They will deny that it effects the rights other students. Nothing new here. It will take the death of a student for them to take a stance.
MD November 15, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Well before the time students reach high school, they know the difference between right and wrong. It is through their use of free will that they make decisions such as drug use. The students are first and foremost responsible for their behavior, not the school or administrators. The next in line are their parents. Until a student is18, the parents are ultimately responsible for their health, emotional well-being, and behavior. Maybe this incident was a blessing because so many students were negatively effected by the drug use, such as missing lunch! According to my kids, these two are very unpopular right now because they inconvenienced the entire school.
john November 15, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I lost my crackers!
SNL November 15, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I cant find my crackers, i cant find my crackers
Davis Dunavin (Editor) November 15, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Just a reminder to avoid identifying details with students -- we don't want to personally call anyone out, and they are minors. Thanks!
Sue Ellen November 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Sure Emma...glad to know recreational drug use of marajuana can cause passing out in public places - what if that student was driving? A drug, is a drug,is a drug - legalizing recreational use is creating a bigger problem. Isn't excessive alcohol use enough for our society?!
Sue Ellen November 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM
MD - I agree, but what has always concerned me is how these children are taught "right" and "wrong." If the come from a home with pot smoking is done and considered okay, that will be their "right." We have a lot a families in this district - as in any place - that engage in risky behaviors whether it be excess alcohol or drug comsumption. We have other parents who believe "that as long as they do it at home, or we have the party at our house, we can monitor and kids will be kids - we did it and we were OK" symdrome as well. What is further disappointing is that these are typically high income and educated individuals who do know better, but think that it won't happen to them or all the concern is garbage. It's those parents who I think we are all trying to get the message to, but it's probably too late - sad, no?
sarah shepherd November 15, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I agree with the people who say it starts at home. It does start at home with educating, keeping a good rapport with and teaching our children right from wrong. It starts with parents knowing who their children's close peer groups are.. any high school experience is what the child and family make of it.. having nice, well rounded, polite, RESPONSIBLE and empathetic children is not the responsibility of the school; general, liberal education is the school's responsibility. Parents keeping a close eye on their children and what they are doing and with whom is a critical part of not letting these incidents get really blown out of proportion by surrounding communities and the local media.
Daniel Stark November 15, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Great comment Sarah. For one thing, the administration definitely has their heads in the sand. One to two percent is ridiculously low, the number of kids using drugs and drinking underage is AT LEAST ten times that---this is a high school in the suburbs after all. And drug sniffing dogs?? Coming to a school like that would definitely make me want a substance to let loose a little!! The REAL substance problems at Amity are probably still pills and steroids, as they were when i was there a decade ago, and as for the substance abuse training....I would bet none of the kids involved in this incident went to any of the classes anyway. So if you really want to help them and not villainize them please get real, put yourselves in the shoes of the high school kid who bakes pot crackers and think about why he would do it and what you can do to make his life more fulfilling so he won't need to be high all the time to make school less miserable. I could think of a lot of ways to do that but drug sniffing dogs ain't one of them. WAKE UP PARENTS!!!
Daniel Stark November 15, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Sue: I would be interested to see data showing that the drug problem at Amity is getting worse, rather than staying a common feature of high school life. Having dogs in the school would make Amity feel like a prison, plus the kids would just meet up outside the school and eat the crackers then. Drug use in school is in my opinion caused by confining naturally curious adolescents to a stifling administrative and social environment, and the RESPONSE to this article shows better than the incident itself where the true "blame" for this problem lies.
Donald T November 16, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Loser parents raise LOSER kids!!
Donald T November 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM
A Pizza with Pot Crackers! A Dominos exclusive for Thanksgiving!!! Yum!
Normal Student November 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM
From a student's perspective, I find it very interesting to read all the ideas parents have about drug use in the high school that they *do not go to*. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the parents that are here commenting and judging the Amity administration went to high school in the 70's and 80's, where the drug problem was a much higher percentage. Also, I'm a student who graduated last year. I never once felt unsafe nor negatively affected by the students who participate in drug use during school. High school is the first opportunity children get to make some of their own independent choices; and Dr. Britton and Dr. Brady do a great job of creating and supporting paths that don't include drugs for 98-99% of the kids. That's a pretty good percentage.
Davis Dunavin (Editor) November 17, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Great to have a recent students' perspective in here. Any other students or recent students have thoughts?
kathy November 17, 2012 at 05:26 AM
@Normal Student...It's good to hear from you. Do you understand though that this is not your parents pot? This stuff is much more potent than it was in the 70's and 80's. Plus it is often laced with other drugs. In high school I never knew of a single overdose in school. I also never saw a single fight in school. Yes, we had a drug problem, but even the hard core kids didn't do it during the school day. Pot these days is laced with other more addictive drugs. No I don't go to your school, but my kids do and they see the reality which is NOT 1-2% of the population. It seems much higher than that. My kids and their friends laughed when Dr. brady stated on the news that these incidents don't happen very often. If Amity really wants to be cutting edge, they'll attack the drug problem in a "cutting edge" manner. They'll get ahead of the game. They choose not to. Perhapse if their kids were at Amity, their choices would be different.
Siwanoy November 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Sue, " A drug, is a drug,is a drug" i'm sure you feel the same way about asprin right? You could smoke joint after joint after joint, you won't die.. do the same with asprin.. and you over dose, dead. So are all drugs the same? or are the not? "glad to know recreational drug use of marajuana can cause passing out in public places - what if that student was driving? A drug, is a drug,is a drug - legalizing recreational " unless you are privy-ed do the blood test, (if one was even done) you have no idea what actually caused the student to pass out. Taking to much marijuana usually leads to falling asleep, not passing out as its being used here. there are drugs in schools, drugs in prison drugs in life, you want your kids not to do drugs? help them make the right choices, limiting the choices doesn't always work, as evidenced by current recreational drug use by students, or as prohibition didn't work. I'd be less worried about a weed saltine then the all the pain killers and zanax sitting in parents medicine cabinets unaccounted for in all the houses.
Siwanoy November 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM
" Do you understand though that this is not your parents pot? This stuff is much more potent than it was in the 70's and 80's. Plus it is often laced with other drugs." pot being more potent now then it was in the 70's and 80's actually makes it SAFER, since you smoke less of it to attain the same high. It being laced with other drugs has been a rumor for a very long time, we heard in the 80's that it was laced with crack, in the 90's and 00's we started hearing it was laced with thinks like cocaine and exstacy. The reality of the matter is that that pot isn't laced, the most common thing sprayed on marijuana prior to sale is actually a mist of water, to make it weigh more. Pot dealers aren't like crack dealers where you dilute the market with high grade and the start selling lower and lower quality seeing your profits increase substantially on each step. Going to back to pot being stronger now then it was in the 70's and 80's, even taking into consideration the large amount of medical marijuana edibles available in medicinal states, its interesting you don't hear about people passing out and being unresponsive from them.
Craig Zac November 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
wow who are these parents who raise their children to give in to peer pressure? who raise their kids to try drugs when offered? How do you parents live yourselves knowing your children need only to be around drugs to start using them? Why dont you do what every normal parent does and just shelter them away and hide them from bad things that surround life instead of teaching them whats right and whats wrong? EVERYONE knows if you take a child and raise them in a box, much like Veal, they will grow up and be perfectly normal, proper citizens. C'mon, lets all take our kids away from the drugs, away from music, dancing, and learning... Im also wondering how these parents can keep their kids sobe and not let them know about booze, especially drinking wine with dinner like some dirty hobo in an alley!!
Craig Zac November 18, 2012 at 12:19 AM
easy now SNL... here have a Ritz! "Everythings better when it sits on a Ritz!"
Craig Zac November 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM
The rest of the school was mad that they missed lunch because they all had the munchies.... bunch of stoners! One thing not mentioned here by anyone is: where do kids learn about this stuff? family members? kids in thier neighborhood? at home? How many kids drink booze cause for years theyd watch mom and dad drink wine at dinner, or relax in the yard or on the sofe with a nice cold beer? maybe they steal some shots from dads basement bar? Hmmmmmmm? its probably a good idea not to be chucking rocks if your living in a glass house no?
Craig Zac November 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM
yep and the kids in the private schools can get more and better drugs cause they are the ones with more money!
Kevin November 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM
When I graduated in '68 people were tripping on acid weekly, taking Seconal and other prescription sleeping pills and smoking quite a bit of marijuana. We figured at the time that about 25% of the class got high at least once a week. Surprisingly, some of the most successful members of my class were also some of the heaviest drug users. You can't stop someone from doing what they want to do, at best you can offer realistic education, kids can see right through scare tactics, it only takes one ignorant overblown comment for a kid to tune out the entire message. Also, if your child is sent for treatment, don't expect miracles or think your child is a complete failure if they use again. There is no treatment for any drug that actually works. 5 years after initial treatment 95% of addicts have relapsed. State run, court ordered treatment has a success rate of about 3%, NA and AA, the best there is, is about 5%(again, after 5 years). Other than Methadone, which is about 99% successful(as long as you are on it) there is no effective treatment. Hopefully that will change. Private schools are no answer, I suppose you could move to Antarctica.
Thomas Soukup November 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
This and many other posts cry out for more and better education as a means of protecting our children from the risky and sometimes evil temptations of our society. We know the list:drugs, alcohol,reckless driving, sex, unprotected sex,smoking and so on. We as adults also know the consequences of such actions,or do we? Some believe it's the responsibility of the school to educate the students to prevent, if not at least minimize the tragedies resulting from such irresponsible actions.Others place the onus squarely on the shoulders of the parents of these students. If we can agree with the idea that it's the school's only responsibility to teach the three R's, then that leaves guess who to fill in the social and moral values, the parents. For those of you who disagree, how much in additional school taxes would you be willing to pay to off-set the cost of such social programs ? NO, teaching and learning are at opposite ends of the spectrum and there will always be those who can't teach and those who wish not to learn, regardless of the price we pay for education.
J.James November 18, 2012 at 06:55 PM
First, no one in the history of the world has ever died from smoking to much reefer. Ever. Second, smoking pot in high school has been going on since the late 1950's. This is not some dangerous new designer drug that has teenagers dropping like flies. It's pot. I'd be willing the bet a great deal of money that the majority of people in this thread smoked pot in high school. Third, the difference between right and wrong, safe and dangerous, good and bad, actions and their consequences, begins with the parents. If your child is engaging in an activity that you disapprove of, it's your job to deal with it, not their teachers'. The school is responsible for keeping your children safe and educating them for six hours a day. Parents are responsible for their lives. It's only pot. Seriously. We're not talking heroin here. There's no devastating, life-ruining, earth-shattering after-effects of smoking a joint or a bowl. Except maybe a junk food hangover.
Craig Zac November 19, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Another problem with this whole thing is that you need to consume less pot than what you would smoke to achieve the same high..its far easier to "over" eat, for lack of a better term, pot than to smoke it. Whoever made the cracker used too much pot. Im not condoning or making excuses but you know.... maybe if he'd known, he would have used less, this kid wouldnt have passed out and this whole story would never be... Then again, it is hard to tell kids, "Hey, pots a drug, drugs are bad, dont do them... but if you do, this is the correct way to go about it".
Lisa November 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I just find it interesting that all the parents got their undies in a bundle over a drug-sniffing dog. When I went to high school in the 80's, we actually had an undercover narcotics officer in our school. No one even told the kids or the parents. We all survived the "invasion of privacy". And the idiots who pulled asinine stunts like this were dealt with appropriately.
Kali B November 23, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Dr. Brady and the Board of Education are still in denial. The auditorium is named after him, now he needs to go. Oh yeah, lets not forget the Board of Ed members that need to be voted out.
R warner December 02, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Vermont is being PRO-ACTIVE. http://www.wcax.com/story/20231845/police-k-9-to-canvas-colchester-schools
Craig Zac December 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I just cant believe that they'd waste $$$ and resources having K-9 police on duty over pot. Meanwhile kids can bring all sorts of weapons into the schools and we could have another Columbine but hey...At least we will know Drugs have nothing to do with it! Why not spend the extra cash on actual education? make stiffer penalties for kids who use, sell, buy drugs at school and maybe the problem will fade. i mean if I were in school and I knew getting high or having pot on me could get me arrested, fined, thrown out of the town school system for good and my name in the papers so the whole town would know... that would be enough for me to wait till after school to get high.Teachers and faculty, its up to you to keep your eyes peeled for this stuff, in school, the kids are your responsibility, you take on that roll when you decide to teach, wouldn't you want your kids teachers looking out for their well being while under their care?
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