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12th Winder-Barrow student arrested on drug charges

WINDER - Winder police arrested a ninth-grade student at Winder-Barrow High School on drug charges Tuesday. The juvenile was arrested the day after an undercover sting operation led to the arrest of 11 students on drug charges.

All 12 students will face a five-day suspension, the maximum allowed, that begins once they bond out of jail. Principal Rob Johnson recommended they be expelled from school.

On Monday, Winder police arrested eight adult-age students and three juveniles and charged them on several counts including possession and distribution of controlled substances on or near school property, the sale of marijuana and the sale of painkillers Lortab and Soma.

Five of the eight adult-age students had bonded out of the Barrow County Detention Center, by press time Thursday.

Tuesday's arrest was not related to the previous undercover operation, Johnson said.

The ninth-grader was walking down the hall Tuesday when an assistant principal spoke to the student, according to Johnson. The student turned and ran. When the student was caught, officials found prescription cough medicine and one Lortab pill in the student's possession, Johnson said.

Police took the student to the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center and was arraigned today in Jackson County.

"I have recommended the ninth-grader be expelled for the remainder of this year and next, with alternative school as a transition the following year," Johnson said.

Once their suspensions end, the students can face a tribunal to determine whether or not to expel them, or waive that option. If a student chooses to go before a tribunal, Johnson would send his recommendation to expel to Dr. Ron Saunders, superintendent of Barrow County Schools.