Stop sign on school bus

Note: This story has been updated.

LEXINGTON – Charges have not been filed against two Lexington Junior High students who reportedly ingested THC gummies while riding the bus to school.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.

Principal Taylor Gerhardt contacted law enforcement on Dec. 15 to report the activity, according to an investigative report from the Lexington Police Department.

Gerhadt told the responding officer that a female student had admitted to stealing the gummies from her father, who had a prescription for them. She ate one gummy on the bus and gave one to another girl, who also ate it. The other girl corroborated her story. Both girls were evaluated by the school nurse.

The daughter stated it was her first time taking her father’s prescription gummies, but said she had taken marijuana cigarettes from him two or three times a week for about a month. She told officers that her father keeps his prescriptions locked in his bathroom, but she knows where he hides the key.

Lexington Law Director John Studenmund declined to state whether charges would be brought against the students or the father.

The father, whose name was redacted from the police report, told police he had not suspected anyone else had access to his prescriptions.

Supt. Jeremy Secrist said that both students will be disciplined in accordance with the district's Student Code of Conduct, but did not elaborate.

"Fortunately, both students are okay. However, we certainly do not want this happening in our schools, on our buses, or anywhere else our students may be," he said.

He also encouraged parents to discuss with their children the dangers of ingesting illegal substances or any medication they are not prescribed.

"It's equally important that the schools continue to improve in our efforts to educate our students about the dangers of drugs, underage consumption, and how to best deal with peer pressure," he added.

Tracee Anderson, executive director of Community Action for Capable Youth, said adolescents who use typically decide to do so pretty quickly and without understanding much about the substance itself.

“With adolescents, they're not really thinking about the consequences, they're making the decision to use in the first couple of seconds,” she said. “They honestly haven’t thought much about it. If they would have given themselves 30 seconds even, they might have made a better decision.”

Anderson said products like THC can cause more harm to youth because they are still growing. THC is also more pure and more concentrated than marijuana and other forms of cannabis.

“THC is the part of the cannabis that causes a high, which alters mood and ability," she said. “The products now are more powerful than they've ever been."

Anderson recommends parents and guardians clearly communicate expectations to their children, but also talk to them about how to say no. Anderson said practicing refusal skills through role play can prepare teens to make a wise choice.

“Talk about situations before they happen. I don't think it can be overstated that we’ve got to be a support and a guider for that," she said. "Saying what not to do is only half of it."

Modeling responsible behavior is also key.

“Be good role models," Anderson said. "Even with alcohol, they've got to show responsible use. Youth learn more from watching it played out.”

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie@richlandsource.com