A Belfast Area High School student was expelled from school by a unanimous vote of the RSU 20 school board at a special meeting Feb. 7.

Superintendent Bruce Mailloux, speaking on Feb. 8, said the student — whom he identified only as a “young man” — had been involved in selling drugs on school grounds, an issue Mailloux said the school board has taken a strong stance against.

“Five or six years ago, the board drew a line in the sand,” Mailloux said, explaining that the board drew a distinction between using or possessing drugs or alcohol and actually providing them to other students.

Board members, said Mailloux, were of the opinion that, “When you’re actually selling and supplying these things, you’ve stepped over the line.”

Whereas other offenses might prompt a student to work his or her way up through a progression of disciplinary measures, Mailloux said any student accused of selling drugs on school grounds goes directly to the school board for an expulsion hearing.

In this particular case, the student involved “did take full responsibility” for his alleged actions, according to Mailloux, and the superintendent described the student as “extremely cooperative.”

Mailloux said the student was expelled “with conditions,” and that if those conditions are met — Mailloux said school officials believe they will be — the student could be readmitted to school, though no sooner than 30 days unless there are “extraordinary circumstances.”

The number of expulsions in the district has been decreasing in recent years, said Mailloux. He said he thinks that shows students are getting the message that the school district is serious about not tolerating these kind of offenses, and that the district’s policy is effective.