Fourteen years old Student Melvin Brooks was caught early Thursday morning, April 29, 2021 smoking marijuana in an abandoned building near his school campus. Student Brooks is a 7th Grader at the JS Pratt High School in Harper, Electoral Distinct#1, Maryland County.
Township Commissioner Mr. Jonathan Harmer, narrates that the minor was caught in the unwholesome act along with a friend, who he didn’t identify.
Commissioner Harmer says while on his way to work early Thursday morning at about 8:46 am, he was astonished to see the two male students of the JS Pratt High School inside an old house molding and smoking the harmful substance.
“I rushed on them immediately when I saw and identified what exactly they were doing. I was shocked and embarrassed with the marijuana smell and I quickly reported them to their school authorities, including the media”, he discloses.
According to him, the situation is not the first of its kind especially, among teenagers in the county, so there is a need for national government to act effectively in order to arrest those who normally traffic harmful substances in Liberia that are destroying the youth of the nation gradually.
Commissioner Harmer notes although there are straight laws on the books to deter perpetrators from engaging into such unlawful act, but they are yet still happening.
He says with the increase in the number of youths getting involved in such harmful situation, government needs to be more practical, robust and take drastic actions or decisions to prevent such from happening, noting today is little Melvin but tomorrow it could be someone else’s child or children. The Acting Principal of the JS Pratt High School, Mr. Markenzine Blackmon thanked the Township Commissioner for arresting Student Melvin.
“Thank God he has been caught by a prominent citizen here in Maryland County, this is what we have been going through here on the campus as administrators”, Principal Markenzine said.
He said whenever students are observed involving in such habit by their fellow students, they often argued and denied.
“It is so embarrassing this morning to see my student being caught right-handed in such unlawful act especially, with his age and class.”
He said in line with the Student’s Handbook on campus, the administration will institute appropriate punishment befitting Student Melvin’s offense and also threatened expulsion if he (Melvin) failed to bring his parents on campus.
Meanwhile, Student Melvin Brooks, who spoke to this paper early Thursday morning, confirmed the act and apologized to his parents and the school.
The minor disclosed this is not his first time taking the substance, disclosing that his elder brother introduced him to it at age 12 in 2019 in J. Las Cuz Community in Harper, Maryland County where he currently resides.
Melvin continued that he usually buys a parcel of marijuana for 50 Liberian Dollars from a male dealer in his community, take it to his brother and they smoke.
Though he didn’t disclosed name of the trafficker to enable the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency make arrest, the JS Pratt High School in Harper had suspended three students before for similar bad habit.
The issue of students smoking harmful drugs is worrisome and alarming, as was highlighted recently during the third phase of President Weah’s nationwide tour and engagement with citizens in Margibi, Grand Bassa and Rivercess counties.
The President challenged Liberians to be good citizens by exposing and reporting such practices to relevant authorities of government for prompt intervention.
Meanwhile, the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency has launched an investigation into circumstances that led little Marvel smoking marijuana near his school campus with a friend.
By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County–Editing by Jonathan Browne