Press Release  | 08/08/2013

Temecula Community Responds to Shocking Case of Local Special Needs Teens Entrapped in Undercover High School Drug Bust

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Public Hearing Set to Raise Questions of Ethics, Accountability, Use of Taxpayer Dollars and Impact on Students and Their Families

TEMECULA, CA—On Monday, August 12, a community hearing will be held at the Community Recreation Center in Temecula in response to a controversial recent drug sting. The Temecula Valley Unified School District authorized an undercover police operation which resulted in the arrest of twenty-two high school students, a number of whom are autistic or have special needs. A panel of parents, community leaders and experts will speak and take questions from the audience about the devastating impact of the arrests and propose humane and effective alternative strategies to prevent teen drug abuse.

The story of police entrapment of an autistic student at Chaparral High School along with other vulnerable special needs students has generated national attention. Late last year, an officer from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department posed as a high school student and pretended to befriend a socially isolated autistic teenager, immediately urging the student to sell him his prescription medication. The student refused but was later persuaded to buy a small amount of marijuana. In total, twenty-two students implicated in the undercover sting were arrested and charged with drug related crimes.

The public hearing, "Accountability in our Schools: Is TVUSD Using Our Tax Dollars to Help of Harm Children and Families?" will bring attention the impact of these arrests on the students and their families, as well as address the issue of Temecula Valley Unified School District's use of taxpayer funds to fuel undercover cop stings. Among those speaking include Stephen Downing, Deputy Chief of Policy LAPD (retired) and Diane Goldstein, Lieutenant Commander of Redondo Beach Police Department (retired) and Lynne Lyman of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Who: A panel of community leaders, nationally recognized experts and parents

What: A Public Hearing “Accountability in our Schools”

When: Monday August 12, 2013, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

Where: Community Recreation Center (CRC) 30875 Rancho Vista Road, Temecula, CA

Contact: Tony Newman: 646-335-5384 or Catherine Snodgrass: 951-643-4212

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