Created: 01/29/2014 10:36 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A high school student in Albuquerque says he was punished for doing the right thing: saying no to drugs then throwing them away.
The student was suspended from the Albuquerque Talent Development Secondary Charter School for three days, but his mother says her son should have been rewarded for saying no to drugs offered by another student in class.
Santiago LaJeunesse says he knows what to do when someone offers him drugs.
“Just say no and walk away,” he said.
The 16-year-old says he was offered pills in English class by another student.
When he said "no" the student put the pills on his desk anyway.
Santiago says he threw the pills in the trash.
“I did the right thing I didn't take it,” he said.
Santiago’s mother, Annette LaJeunesse, was given a suspension slip saying Santiago was in possession of a controlled substance.
“What is this world going to be if you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't it’s not right,” Annette said, “They said no to drugs they said no to something they didn't know what it was and were punished for it.”
The principal would not comment but KOB Eyewitness News 4 looked into the handbook that states possession of any controlled substance is against their zero tolerance policy.
The principal says it does not matter if a student only had the drugs for a short while.
When asked: Do you feel like your son should have done anything different? Do you think he should have reported it first?
When asked if she felt like her son should have done anything differently or reported it first, Annette said no, “Because he felt at that moment that was the thing he had to do.”
Another student, Santiago’s friend, was also suspended because for throwing away the pills in the trashcan.
The principal wants to encourage students to report drugs on campus to avoid these kinds of situations.