Believe it or not, drug suspensions are down in our schools

Believe it or not, drug suspensions are down in our schools »Play Video

TOPPENISH, Wash. -- Ramiro is a senior at Toppenish High School. He says he smokes pot and not always at home.

“Would you be willing to admit that you brought marijuana to school before?" KIMA asked.

"Yes, but it was a one-time thing," said Ramiro.

Ramiro's experience isn't isolated.

Action News pulled the latest numbers from the state. Most school districts in the Yakima Valley saw a drop in suspensions for drugs in the last school year.

Yakima and West Valley dipped slightly. Union Gap dropped to zero offenses. Zillah and East Valley down to almost zero. However, drug suspensions nearly doubled in Toppenish and Wapato.

Selah saw a similar jump. The most common drug brought to school?

"Marijuana,” Ramiro said.

Every school district I spoke to say pot is their biggest problem. Toppenish High principal Trevor Greene says he didn't expect drug suspensions to increase.

"Well hearing that news from you is really a surprise,” Trevor said.

Greene says there's not much the district can do to stop students from bringing drugs on campus. The rules are already in place. Greene says more suspensions might be the result of the district punishing the students who are caught.

Ramiro agrees.

"They know they'll get caught and if they do they'll get suspended,” Ramiro said.

Greene said the district will work on bringing the numbers down.

"I think this is a first step of being aware of the latest reports that have come out and we'll continue to be more stringent with our process,” Greene said.

"Do you think kids will ever stop bringing drugs to school?" KIMA asked.

"Probably like the good ones that want to graduate," Ramiro said.

Come spring, we'll see if it means more students like Ramiro walk the across the stage.

Yakima's drug suspensions had been rising for at least three years. It leveled out last year at about 230 suspensions. The district says it's enforcing its no-tolerance policy.