Middle school clerk allegedly took students’ Ritalin

Shelly Dykstra's mug shot from the Muskegon County Jail. (March 2016)


NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — A clerk at Mona Shores Middle School faces felony charges, accused of stealing Ritalin prescribed to students and replacing it with something else.

Shelly Dykstra was arrested Wednesday morning after weeks of investigation by Norton Shores police and Mona Shores Public Schools.

Mona Shores Superintendent Greg Helmer told 24 Hour News 8  that in Dykstra’s role as a clerk, she dispensed prescriptions to students regularly. He also said she was “dealing with personal and significant issues” made “bad choices” and “found a way to cover it up.”

The situation is alarming to parents and guardians who are concerned about the safety of students.

“I was very surprised. You know, I’ve known her for a long time, I think she’s a great person. I’m surprised she would do anything like that,” said Jane Heneveld, grandmother of Mona Shores Middle School student.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson said the investigation into the alleged misconduct continues.

“Obviously as the school is concerned so are we about making sure that the kids weren’t put in any danger or harm’s way and we’re going to make that determination and see,” Hilson said.

It’s unknown Dykstra was allegedly giving students instead of Ritalin, a medication used to treat ADD, ADHD and narcolepsy. That’s the biggest red flag for some parents and guardians.

“If they’re given just like an aspirin versus their medication that they need for a daily basis, I mean, you don’t know if she’s taking it for herself or selling it or what she was doing with it,” Heneveld said.

Dykstra will be arraigned at a later date on charges of larceny in a building and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Mona Shores Public Schools released the following statement on Wednesday:

“March 16, 2016
Dear Staff and Community of Mona Shores Public Schools:

At Mona Shores Public Schools the health and safety of our students is our highest priority. Students and staff feel
comfortable and secure in our high quality learning environments. Recently, however, we discovered misconduct on the
part of one of our staff members that threatened the security of our environment. As a part of the Mona Shores family, it
is important for you to know what has occurred.

It is with extreme disappointment and concern that I share the following news with you. For the past few weeks, Mona
Shores Public Schools has been working closely with the Norton Shores Police Department (NSPD) to monitor and
investigate a situation involving student medications at our middle school. Shelly Dykstra, a clerk at the Middle School,
who regularly dispensed prescription medication to students as part of her job, was arrested this morning for misconduct
involving missing medication.

While working closely with the NSPD, we discovered clear evidence that misconduct regarding medication
counts/inventory occurred. This discovery is particularly disturbing because of the long term relationships and personal
connections this employee has with many of us in our school community. This type of misconduct threatens the safe and
secure learning environment at Mona Shores Public Schools and will not be tolerated.

We are cooperating with the Norton Shores Police Department and are not able to provide additional information at this
time due to the ongoing criminal investigation and personnel matter. Due to the sensitivity of this situation, I would like to
leave you with the following key points:

1. First and foremost, the health and safety of our students is our highest priority. Mona Shores does not tolerate
any behavior that would compromise our secure learning environment, or jeopardize the safety of our students
and staff.

2. Mona Shores is confident in the results of this joint investigation, but cannot share additional details at this time
due to the ongoing criminal investigation and personnel matter.

3. We are asking everyone to be sensitive of the family and individuals that are affected and to refrain from
speculation; especially on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

4. Mona Shores Public Schools has turned over the matter to the Norton Shores Police Department. The Norton
Shores Police Department will provide updates to the public as they become available.

While this is a difficult time for all involved, please be respectful of the family, students, and individuals involved in this
situation.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Greg Helmer
Superintendent, Mona Shores Public Schools”

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