Sacred Heart and police deny drug-bust rumors

Two students expelled for 'marijuana-related activities,' officials conduct internal investigation

Two students were expelled from Sacred Heart Preparatory for using marijuana, but there was no drug bust on the private Catholic school's Atherton campus, a spokeswoman for the school said.

Rumors about a drug-related incident were running rampant last week, but Atherton police contradicted key parts of the stories circulating.

There was no drug bust by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, no arrests were made, there's no police involvement, and no large sums of money or cocaine were discovered, according to Atherton police Chief Glenn Nielsen.

School officials said the students' marijuana use did not occur on campus.

"It's grotesque rumors blown out of proportion," Nielsen said. "If even 10 percent of the rumors were true, we'd be actively investigating it."

But there is no police investigation, he said. Atherton police Sgt. Kristin Nichols said on Friday (Oct. 30) that she'd been fielding calls from the community, but that she had no information about any drug busts. If the DEA had been involved, local law enforcement authorities would have been notified, Nielsen said.

In response to numerous requests for comment, Richard Dioli, director of schools at the private Catholic school, issued a statement Friday about an incident involving "marijuana-related activity."

"We conducted our own internal investigation and have asked these individuals to leave our school; they are no longer students at Sacred Heart Preparatory," Dioli said.

"The Atherton police department is not involved in any kind of formal investigation on our campus."

School spokeswoman Millie Lee said that Sacred Heart has a strong relationship with Atherton police and always consults and cooperates with them in possible cases of illegal activity.

"We have never found any drugs or evidence of drugs on campus from these two individuals," school spokeswoman Millie Lee said.

"What we found were two individuals who have displayed inconsistent behavior with our school's goals and criteria and therefore they have been released as part of our student body."


Like this comment
Posted by jack
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Nice! Zero tolerance!! Can you say, "you can take your stinkin' tuition money: we don't need it"!!

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I think these kids are ridiculous. This school is for all the super rich. It is about time something was done with their, "Rules don't apply to me!" attitude.

I say, "Throw the bums out!"

Like this comment
Posted by noname
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 12, 2009 at 1:15 am

I do not know the details, but I am shocked and horrified that a school would expel students for using marijuana OUTSIDE of school. How many teachers at Sacred Heart have tried marijuana, not to mention harder drugs such as cocaine? Judging from the fact that the last three presidents all tried marijuana when they were young and Bush and Obama both tried cocaine, I bet the answer is many more than you think.
(For your information, I am a 50-something year old who can count on one hand the number of times I tried marijuana in my youth. I've never tried any other illegal drugs. Unlike Bush, I have NEVER driven a car under the influence of alcohol.)

Like this comment
Posted by shp '07
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 18, 2009 at 8:48 am

coverup by rich dioli

Like this comment
Posted by Social Crusader
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 14, 2010 at 2:44 am

So the school is content with their students ingesting hardcore prescription drugs which wreak havoc on the internal organs and minds of our youth but they are so uncomfortable with the notion of a student inhaling cannabis that they expelled them??? Some of the most brilliant minds that have ever existed in the world did, have, or do smoke cannabis. Some of the most idolized pro athletes that have ever existed in the world did, have, or do smoke cannabis. Some of the most admirable people in the world did, have, or do smoke cannabis. Every 10 minutes in the United States alone at least 1 person dies from an overdose or an allergic reaction from prescription drugs. (100,000 Americans annually) In 10,000 years of worldwide cannabis consumption there has never been a documented case of a death due to an overdose or an allergic reaction. Cigarettes kill almost 500,000 Americans annually. If the schools administration uncovers that underage students were seen smoking off campus, do they expel them as well?? Alcohol kills 50,000 Americans a year. Does the Sacred Heart administration expel any kids who attend parties and drink on the weekends?? Shame on you Sacred Heart. Your approach was cowardly.

Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Isn't this the case where one of the expelled kids had huge amounts of narcotics and reportedly went into witness protection? If so, no wonder they were all mum about it.

Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2014 at 8:07 am

Sacred Heart and Menlo, as well as other private schools, have policies that attempt to police the behavior of students 24/7. Both have expelled students for illegal and/or reckless behavior off campus and outside of school hours. The concern is the reputation of the school, ostensibly.

Unless your parents are rich enough. There were several cases at Menlo over the last ten years of students with extremely wealthy parents getting away with behavior that would have ended in expulsion for other students, because they cozied up to the former head of the school. In those cases at least, money talked, and ethics walked.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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