Police say GHS student shares pills

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — A Guilderland High School student took prescription pills from his home and shared them with his friends, police say.

Sean Michael Clark, 16, of 26 Tice Road, was ticketed on May 13 for unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.
"His guardian, his grandparent, called the police station, and said he may be in possession of a controlled substance, taken from the house," said Brian Forte, a Guilderland Police officer stationed in the high school.

His grandfather declined comment when The Enterprise called this week.
Clark was called to the principal’s office, Forte said, where he was asked to empty his pockets. "I saw a pot pipe tucked in his shoe," said Forte.

The glass pipe contained marijuana, Forte said, so Clark was arrested for unlawful possession.

Clark stated that he had taken two prescription pills that morning, the arrest report says, and that he had given at least 20 other pills to his friends, but he would not disclose the names of the friends.
Forte said calls from guardians or parents on pilfered pills are very infrequent as are school arrests for possession of marijuana. "We’ve had a few arrests, not as prevalent as what the road guys have," Forte said, referring to Guilderland Police who patrol town roads.
The arrest report identifies the prescription pills as "Clozapan." A pharmacist told The Enterprise there are two medications with similar names — "Clonazepan," which is used to treat anxiety and convulsions, and "Clozapine," which is an anti-psychotic.
"Any controlled substance can have a detrimental effect," Forte told The Enterprise. Forte cited a dramatic example, "You can get an allergic reaction from just one pill, you can even die...That’s why they’re prescribed by a doctor."
Asked what kind of follow-up there would be in Clark's case, Forte said, "It’s in the hands of the court system."
In general, with cases of substance abuse, Forte said, "We talk to the parents and we suggest they seek help. Usually, parents try to get their kids help."

Ismael Villafane, the high school principal, told The Enterprise, "Every time an incident violates the code of conduct, there are consequences."
He said he could not comment on Clark’s case specifically, but the consequences, in general, can range from "a talk and counseling to a superintendent’s hearing," which can result in a suspension longer than the five days for which a principal can suspend a student.
"Every case is based on its merit," he said.
Asked about the frequency of marijuana or prescription-drug use at the high school, Villafane indicated it was rare, saying, "Every time someone is caught with a controlled substance, I refer it to the police...so it would be in your blotters. I wouldn’t hide something. It wouldn’t matter if it was an honors kid with a 98 average or who it was."

Villafane said he wasn’t aware of any trend of kids’ using Clonazepan or Clozapine.
"I hadn’t heard of that name," he said.

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