Police are investigating after a kindergarten teacher in Pennsylvania found a six-year-old student chewing on a baggie of cocaine.
The shocking incident unfolded Wednesday at Mastery Charter Hardy Williams Elementary School in Philadelphia when a girl in class found a baggie of what she thought was sugar in a classmate’s backpack. The unidentified teacher noticed the girl with the baggie and immediately took it from her, reported ABC 13.
The teacher, who suspected the powdered substance in the bag was drugs, subsequently called police and took the student to the nurse, along with the classmate whose backpack she allegedly found the baggie in. The nurse determine the students had not ingested any of the substance and a school resource officer subsequently sent them home.
“She put the actual bag in her mouth and was chewing it,” said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker, according to ABC 13. “Fortunately, she didn’t break the actual seal.”
Officials notified parents and searched each student’s backpack as a precaution. They said they do not believe the drugs came from the student’s home and are investigating how the baggie of cocaine infiltrated the school.
Officers with the Southwest Detectives Division in Philadelphia are leading the investigative effort and are concerned this was not an isolated incident.
“They are packaged to be individual like that, but usually they are in a larger grouping,” said Walker, according to ABC 13. “So we don’t know if in fact there were other glassine bags out there in the school at this time.”
Children are increasingly the victims of rampant drug addiction throughout the country. A mother in Ohio is facing multiple drug charges after her 7-year-old son showed up to school under the influence of cocaine and was hospitalized. (RELATED: Mother Arrested On Fentanyl After 7-Year-Old Son Shows Up To School High On Cocaine)
Teachers noticed the child appeared unusually tired when he arrived at North Elementary School in Urbana, Ohio, on April 16 and subsequently became unresponsive during lunch. Paramedics were called and rushed the boy to Urbana Mercy Health Hospital for treatment, where doctors discovered he had cocaine in his system. He was successfully treated and made a full recovery.
The mother showed up at the hospital several hours later and was subsequently arrested by police, who found the unidentified woman to be under the influence of cocaine, methamphetamine, and the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl. She admitted to police she believed her son likely inhaled the drugs in the morning when she left him unattended before school.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, claiming more than 64,000 lives in 2016.