Four middle school students are facing serious charges after they allegedly tried to make marijuana-laced cookies in a home economics class.
Burlington Police say the 13-year-old students attend Edward Stone Middle School. They reportedly mixed pot into cookie dough on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
The scheme was discovered before the dough could be baked.
"There was a concerned student that notified the school authorities," said Lieutenant Jeff Klein, Supervisor of the Criminal Investigations Division and Narcotics Unit at the Burlington Police Department. "Hats off to that individual, hats off to his parents because he did the right thing."
"Due to the quick thinking and actions of our Assistant Principal the cookie dough was never baked or eaten by anyone," said Burlington Community School District Superintendent Jane Evans.
The four students were arrested Wednesday, April 30, and later released.
Evans said all of the students involved have been suspended from school.
"This was a serious incident that would warrant long-term suspensions," she said.
Two of the teens were charged with felony delivery of marijuana, and two were charged with misdemeanor possession.
Lt. Klein says if they were adults, the felony charges would equal a five-year prison sentence and the possession charges would mean up to a year in jail. However, because they are under the age of 18, Lt. Klein says their punishment will depend on if they have a "past criminal juvenile record."
"Anything could range from informal probation to community service to supervised probation. It'll be up to the decisions made by the juvenile court officers."
Lt. Klein says the dough is now being examined in the state lab. He says it will take 3-6 months to test it and determine how much marijuana is in the dough.
Meanwhile, Burlington Police are now investigating how the students got the drug.
"What we're hoping to prevent is this type of activity as they become adults," Lt. Klein said. "If you're able to head it off right now, hopefully they won't continue this type of behavior when they reach age 18 and then there's little we can do to help, so we're hoping that we can continue to educate at this age and then these problems won't continue."
As part of a plan approved before this incident, leaders with the Burlington Community School District are also adding a SCO, or School Resource Officer from the Burlington Police Department, to their middle schools next year.
"We'll assist the school district in being able to be more aware of kids and the activities taking place," said Lt. Klein.
Lt. Klein says there is already a SCO at the high school and they've had great success.
"Our school district is pretty proactive and they are very focused on making sure that the school is a safe environment for the kids to learn."