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It's hard to find positive takeaways from a Region public school teacher, entrusted with the enrichment and well-being of children, being led from the school in handcuffs amid allegations of using illegal drugs on school property.

But parents of children attending Lake Central High School in St. John should take some comfort in the speed in which school administrators addressed the issue.

The matter also reminds us of a pervasive drug problem in our society that threatens us on every level.

Second-year English teacher Samantha Cox, 24, described by the superintendent as "popular with students," faces felony and misdemeanor drug charges after apparently being caught on video last week using drugs in an empty classroom.

Lake Central administrators said a student brought the matter to their attention. They should be commended for acting immediately, notifying the St. John Police, who worked together with Dyer police to make an arrest.

"It's a sad situation," Lake Central schools Superintendent Larry Veracco told The Times Monday. "We are happy that we got her removed from the classroom very quickly after being tipped off by a student. But we are also concerned about her (Cox's) welfare, too. She seemed to be a very good teacher."

In fact, Cox's academic prowess ranked her as class salutatorian when she graduated Hanover Central High School in Cedar Lake in 2012.

Now Cox faces felony cocaine charges, according to police.

We commend Lake Central school administrators for acting quickly but also ask every member of our greater Region community to consider the lessons of this case.

Instances like this should embolden local and state leaders to continue attacking problems of drug use, abuse and addiction in our society.

From inner-city neighborhoods to suburban schools, we all must bring our will and resources together to fight this scourge.

Our society's greater response to this problem should be as decisive and swift as the reaction of Lake Central school administrators in the Cox case.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.