The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 5, 2013

Geneva students face charges

Star Beacon


 Three Geneva High School students face criminal charges and discipline from the district after they were caught using drugs and carrying weapons last week, Geneva police reports show.

Officer Doug Zetlaw was called to the school on South Ridge Road East on Friday when a school administrator caught two 14-year-old boys smoking. The administrator searched the boys and found a marijuana pipe in one boy’s pocket and a folding knife in his shoe, Zetlaw said.

Zetlaw said he tried to discuss the situation with the boys, but found one child to be “very disrespectful.”

“He was name calling and telling me to shut up,” Zetlaw said. “At one point he told me he wanted to punch me.”

The boys were arrested and Zetlaw has recommended charges of possession of a deadly weapon on school grounds (a fifth degree felony) and misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia, police reports show.

Officers were called to the school again on Friday when another student was found to have a knife and a container full of urine, Geneva police dispatch records show.

Superintendent Mary Zappitelli said the district identifies weapons with a broad definition. Once an object is identified as a weapon, administrators follow a strict policy on discipline.”

Zappitelli said she could not comment on individual incidents or disciplinary action involving students.

“I am aware of both situations, but not able to comment on either,” she said.