The non-profit group that operates the after-school program at Willow Glen Middle School says this is the first incident of this sort in 20 years. All applicants for staff jobs are required to undergo background checks, but not drug tests.
Teachers at Willow Glen Middle School found the two students with marijuana. They were participants in an afterschool program. The marijuana, they said, came from 20-year-old Edward Diaz of San Jose, who is employed as a program leader, or tutor.
The teachers acted quickly. "They called 9-1-1 immediately and the San Jose Police Department responded, and it's my understanding that the individual admitted to selling the drugs to the kids immediately," said San Jose Unified School District spokesperson Traci Cook.
The afterschool program is operated by the non-profit group "Think Together." The organization says Diaz passed background checks by the Department Of Justice and FBI background checks before he was hired on a part-time basis last fall.
"We pride ourselves hiring from within the community and providing strong role models that come from within the local neighborhoods, and so we know this is just really heartbreaking for us," said Chief Educational Services Officer Ken Geisick.
Diaz had a medical marijuana card according to his roommate, Daniel Clark. Clark said Diaz was studying to be a school counselor. "I don't think that he would ever sell to a kid or give marijuana to a child," his roommate said, adding that he considered the incident out-of-character for Diaz. "Yes, definitely out of character, definitely out of character."
The two students have been suspended. Legal analyst Steven Clark says Diaz will be facing tough prosecution
"They're going to say the last place a middle school student should be able to buy marijuana is from his afterschool counselor. This young man's only 20-years-old, but he's facing some very serious charges and could go to prison because of the age of the individuals who bought the marijuana."