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MHS athletes participate in tournament following arrests

Superintendent explains school policy

Two students who represented Marion High School in the state wrestling tournament this past weekend were arrested in Newton the weekend before on suspicion of a variety of offenses.

USD 408 Superintendent Lee Leiker said the students were not suspended from the tournament because the school district had not been officially notified of the arrests.

MHS seniors Cody and Dillon Wildin, both 18 and of Marion, were arrested by Newton police officers Feb. 21.

Charges against Cody Wildin were a minor in possession of alcohol, obstruction of justice, and trespassing on railroad property.

Dillon Wildin was charged with a minor in possession of alcohol and obstruction of justice.

All charges are classified as misdemeanors.

The twin brothers were released on their own recognizance with bonds of $3,750 and $2,250, respectively.

Asked why the students were allowed to compete, Leiker said the school district does not act on such activity until the district receives appropriate “documentation.” the district has a policy of not asking students questions that might lead students to incriminate themselves.

“We were not contacted by law enforcement,” Leiker said, implying that the Newton Police Department would have notified Marion police of the arrests.

Marion Police Chief Josh Whitwell said he had not been contacted by Newton law enforcement regarding the cases.

Illegal substances prohibited by school policy include tobacco, alcohol, and “any drug deemed illegal to sell, possess, use, distribute, or purchase by state or federal law,” the policy stated.

Consequences for students who violate the school’s policy include the restriction of participation in extracurricular activities.

For the first offense, students are suspended from participation in 10 percent of varsity competitions. During the suspensions, students can participate in practices.

If students are found to be in violation of the drug policy for a second time, they are suspended for 50 percent of varsity competitions but may continue to practice.

Students are not allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities for the remainder of their enrollment in the district if there is a third offense.

The policy does not suspend students from attending classes because of these violations.

“Education is a right but extracurricular activities are a privilege,” Leiker said.

Extracurricular activities also include club memberships and special functions such as dances, Leiker said.

Dillon Wildin was suspended for part of the wrestling season in 2009 but Leiker could not specify the reason.

Attempts to contact the Wildin brothers for comment were unsuccessful.

Last modified March 3, 2010

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