Port Royal Police are investigating a report that one student distributed prescription pills to two others at Lowcountry Montessori School last month.
Chief Alan Beach said the department heard from the Port Royal charter school’s director, Amy Horn, on Aug. 25 about an anonymous caller who told Horn an unknown 10th-grader may try to sell the stimulant Adderall at the school the next day.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office put a drug-sniffing dog on standby for the department, and Beach instructed Horn to report any suspicious people at the Broad River Drive campus, but neither was needed. The next day, Beach said, a parent and student went to Horn with more information.
According to the police report, the student admitted that he and another student each accepted one and a half pills from the suspect and then flushed them down the toilet. One of the students took half a pill before tossing the other, the report said.
While Horn told police the school was in the process of expelling the suspect and considering suspending the other two for accepting the drugs, she said in a statement Tuesday that the school is taking other action because it was unable to definitely determine what was brought to school. The three students received consequences that included a five-day suspension, 40 hours of community service, school intervention program participation and behavior intervention plans.
“When you have teenagers, there are going to be issues, but we like to believe that we are able to address these issues head on and to approach it in a way that seeks to help students make good choices,” Horn said. “... There is a reason for drug use among teenagers and we need to look deeper at the roots of why they are choosing this road.”
Beach initially said on the phone Tuesday that the department did not have an active investigation into the report but emailed a few minutes later to say that he was having an officer look into it further.
Lowcountry Montessori was founded in 2013. The public charter school serves grades preK-11.