RIO RANCHO, N.M. – St. Thomas Aquinas school administrators called police Friday after a teacher mistook a leaf in a student’s backpack as marijuana.
Both nature enthusiasts, Edwina Bledsoe and her daughter Marissa Sanchez believe plants can be preserved long after they’re picked. On Friday, that hobby turned into a heated disagreement between Sanchez’s mother and administrators.
To sort fact from fiction, school administrators asked the Rio Rancho Police Department to test the leaf only to learn it was not marijuana. The student claims her leaf was from a Japanese Maple tree.
“I thought it was a really pretty leaf, so I wanted to show my friends that and one of them brought up that its marijuana and of course they’re going to make those jokes,” Sanchez said.
Bledsoe said her daughter faced a suspension and that the principal demanded that she take her student home.
“It makes me very upset,” Bledsoe said. “She was guilty for something so innocent. What’s wrong with arts and crafts?”
On Monday, the school sent a letter to the families of the seventh-grade class that revealed no drugs were found on campus. Hurt, Bledsoe wants the school to apologize.
“I think it should have been handled a lot differently,” Bledsoe said.
KOB-TV has requested an interview or statement from St. Thomas Aquinas School since Friday, but the school did not provide a response.