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I just stopped by Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest, hoping to talk to kids about the breaking news that at least one of their own is suspected in connection with a mostly-suburban drug ring with “plans” to sell marijuana to high school students. After finding more than $6,000 in cash and more than three pounds of marijuana in one student’s home (which leads me to believe the “plans” had already been realized), Montgomery County police arrested two students, from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac and Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, and two adults. More arrests were promised—potentially at Wilson. Police said they were proud they caught the little buggers before they had a chance to sell any drugs. Um, right.
Anyway, I figured this news would be the talk of the town at Wilson. Even though the campus was relatively busy this afternoon, I found only one student who’d heard anything. The gossip, she said, was something about “a white, 17-year-old girl” involved with selling drugs with kids from Maryland. The rest of the students I talked to were more concerned about another police action on campus today: the closure of Fort Reno park due to high arsenic levels in the soil. According to a group of students sitting on some steps at a business across from the school, at about 1:30 p.m., the park was their favorite place to ditch class. Now where will they go???
I understand their frustration. When I was in high school, we would sneak away to a place called Hamburger Mary’s in Portland. We would order home fries, douse them with Tabasco, nurse coffees and smoke Marlboro Reds. I was really not that much of a rebel, so we only skipped during assemblies or when we’d done something to make showing up in class riskier than getting caught skipping. When Hamburger Mary’s closed, we were distraught. We tried going to the fancier brew pub down the street, but the waiters quickly caught onto our game and gave us a time limit. The next year, our school started locking the doors during assemblies. That meant we actually had to go. And they were really, really bad. Wilson students, I feel your pain.