December 13, 2012

In Cape Elizabeth pot cookies incident, number of alleged eaters grows

Police think more than the nine suspended students were part of the incident, and media coverage is criticized.

By Matt Byrne
Staff Writer

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In this March 2008 file photo, a police cruiser sits in front of Cape Elizabeth High School. Police are investigating a Friday, Dec. 10, 2012 marijuana-cookie incident that has led to the suspension of nine Cape Elizabeth High School students.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

Hunter said no one in the auditorium was aware of the cookie situation.

One parent who was an organizer of the TEDx event said the cookie story received outsized media coverage.

"There were 423 people in that auditorium who were blown away," said Sara Lennon, a former town councilor. "Two days later, this pretty tawdry, not so monumental scandal (emerges) and it goes viral."

Jamie Wagner, a Cape Elizabeth town councilor who co-owns The Local Buzz, a cafe near the school, said the image of Cape Elizabeth as a wealthy community has in the past driven a fascination with its high school students who end up in trouble.

"There is a history of this," Wagner said, recalling the "Cape Ten" incident in 2008, when a senior prank caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the school.

"It was inflammatory," he said. "They say it's a rich town. There's a little bit of schadenfreude reporting on the Cape."

In his email to parents, Shedd did not dwell on the students' punishment.

"School is about learning," he wrote. "Some learning is more painful than others. We will welcome and support the students as they return from their suspensions."

Staff Writer Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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