A 13-year-old boy brought a small bag of the crack to Mitchell Elementary School and tried to get a boy to hold onto the stash for seven dollars. The younger boy said no, but the older student stuffed the contraband drug into the boy’s back pack, KYW-TV reported.
The 8-year-old boy showed the crack to two fellow students. One sniffed the bag, the other told the teacher.
Police were able to arrest the 13-year-old. All four students, including the 13-year-old who brought the drug to school, were sent to the hospital to be checked out, as it was unknown if any had actually consumed the drug in any manner.
Police were concerned there may be more crack on school premises. After a thorough search, they found that there were eight packages of crack in the teen’s possession and another eight bags in a school toilet, they said. It is assumed, but not proven, that the bags in the toilet were placed there by the same thirteen year old boy.
The 13-year-old boy is a sixth grader, and it is not known at this time where he originally obtained the crack or if he was planning on selling or using it.
Those three 8-year-olds and the accused teen were checked out at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to make sure no one ingested the drug. All were fine and showed no traces of crack in their system. Sources familiar with the investigation, who did not want to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about the case, said the teen tested positive for marijuana.
Superintendent William Hite praised the bravery of the child, who told the teacher about the presence of the drug in the school.
“Thank goodness that one of the students actually made sure staff was made aware of it and staff intervened.”
While Philadelphia has problems with illegal drugs the way that most cities do, it was still an atypical situation for teachers and police officers to deal with. Police Lt. Johnny Walker said he was saddened that such young children were dealing with the issue of crack in school.
“It’s just a sad situation when you have kids at this age who are exposed to this type of stuff this early in life.”
A letter explaining what happened was sent out to parents Thursday afternoon, said school district spokesman Fernando Gallard, but many parents expressed dismay that they weren’t called immediately. Some heard the news and went to the school, but said nobody would tell them anything.
Lt. Walker said police would work in conjunction with the school to make the incident a teaching moment.
“We’ll do everything we can to make this a sterile environment again.”