Philadelphia kindergarten student finds bag of cocaine in classmate's backpack, starts chewing on it
A Philadelphia charter school made headlines on Wednesday after a kindergartner found a bag of crack cocaine in a classmate's backpack and started chewing on it.
According to law enforcement, the six-year-old at Hardy Williams Mastery Charter School in Southwest Philadelphia thought the packet consisted of powdered sugar.
"She put the actual bag in her mouth and was chewing it," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker. "Fortunately, she didn't break the actual seal."
Fortunately, a teacher came to the rescue of the child before she could break the seal of the packet, quickly identifying the bag and confiscating it from her, suspecting that it was drugs.
Administrators at the school were quick to alert law enforcement about the incident.
The girl and the student to whom the backpack belonged to were rushed to the school infirmary, where the nurse did a full check up to conclude that they none of them had ingested the powder.
However, police said that it is still unclear as to how the cocaine ended up in the male student's backpack. They affirmed that it did not come from his home.
Police also conducted a search on the backpacks of the other kindergarten students and notified the parents, but found nothing suspicious. There are approximately 25 children in the kindergarten class.
However, concerns grew on Wednesday afternoon when investigators with Southwest Detectives were assigned the case, knowing how street drugs are packaged.
"They are packaged to be individual like that, but usually they are in a larger grouping, so we don't know if in fact there were other glassine bags out there in the school at this time," said Walker.
As the school bell rang, a grandparent who was picking up his kindergarten student raised questions regarding the incident.
"How does that even get in her bookbag?" said Anthony Richardson. "Police will have a thorough investigation, hopefully, everything is good."
Law enforcement authorities instructed the school that if anyone experienced symptoms from ingestion of the drug, they need to be rushed to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Mastery Charters Schools Statement on the incident at Hardy Williams Elementary:
Around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16, a staff member at Mastery Charter Schools Hardy Williams Elementary saw a kindergarten student trying to open a plastic bag with a white powder inside. Upon further inspection, the staff member determined the substance could possibly be drugs, confiscated the bag and immediately took the student to the nurse's office. As a standard policy in these cases, the school contacted the police and DHS to investigate.
The child indicated she got the "candy" out of a classmate's book bag. That child denied having any "candy," but was also taken to the nurse's office, where it was determined there was no evidence either of the students had ingested the substance.
As a precaution, we checked the belongings of all 25 students in the class. Nothing else was found.
We reached out to the families of both students involved and notified all parents about the incident this afternoon.