High School Faculty Member Fired For Allegedly Brokering Student Drug Deal

By McCarton Ackerman 06/25/14

Ironically, Loretta Young worked for Steinert High School as a counselor for students dealing with substance abuse.

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A high school student assistance coordinator in New Jersey has been fired from her position after allegedly trying to broker and failing to report a marijuana deal between two students in her office.

In the incident that took place last October at Steinert High School, Loretta Young reportedly ordered the students, identified as J.C. and G.H., to return marijuana and cash to each other after one student complained of being scammed financially by the other. Young was a tenured faculty member who had been with the school for 17 years. Ironically, her position offered free and confidential services for students who wanted help with substance abuse, in addition to other “personal, non-academic issues.”

Tenure charges were filed last January to remove Young from her position and the five-month investigation only recently concluded. “Ms. Young set in motion and presided over a disjointed version of street justice,” wrote arbitrator Michael Pecklers in the 88-page report. Pecklers concluded on May 2 that she should be removed from her position.

Young accused J.C. of placing blame on her as part of a scheme that was done in retaliation for being expelled due to the drug possession. She also claimed that a third student was in her office who dictated the transaction and that she attempted to report the incident to Principal Frank Ingargiola, but he was unavailable at the time.

However, Pecklers didn’t buy her story and said that she should have acted immediately. “There is no excuse for Ms. Young not to have called the main office instantly upon the exchange to alert them that J.C. was currently in possession, and G.H. was also in possession of a controlled dangerous substance in school,” wrote Pecklers. “(Young’s) rambling and confusing attempt to explain away her failure to report the drug transaction immediately to the administration exposes the underlying inconsistency in her story."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.