A four-year-old girl in Delaware brought several bags of heroin to her daycare yesterday and, believing it was candy, passed them around to her friends. Daycare workers confiscated the bags and immediately called police.
The mother of the four-year-old was arrested and charged with Maintaining a Drug Property and Endangering the Welfare of a Child but was released after posting $6,000 bond. The 249 bags weighing 3.735 grams were located in a backpack not regularly used by the child but was given to her by her mother that morning after the family pet destroyed the child’s own backpack the night before.
All of the children at the daycare who came in contact with the bags of heroin were brought to local hospitals and released after being examined. The four-year-old child and her mother’s two other children – a 9-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl – were transferred to a relative’s custody with a no contact order imposed on the mother.
This is not the first time a child has brought heroin to daycare or school. Earlier this year, a six-year-old girl brought 11 bags of heroin to her Philadelphia elementary school. When the teacher noticed the child showing the bags to her friends, including a bag that appeared to be bitten, she took action. The students were evacuated and the girl’s mother and boyfriend were arrested and charged. While the girl was taken to a hospital after feeling unwell and dizzy, there were no other reports of illness or injury among the other first grade students.
In 2012, a Connecticut boy took out 50 packets of heroin in his Kindergarten class when it was time for show-and-tell. Authorities believe he took his stepfather’s jacket to school that day when he found the drugs in the jacket pocket. Again, the teacher took action immediately and the stepfather was arrested. The boy was placed in his grandmother’s custody.
A mother in South Carolina was arrested when her son brought needles containing heroin to his church preschool. During the day, the boy found the needles in his backpack and brought them to his teacher at Christ Lutheran Preschool. When authorities searched the family home, they found other needles, one of which was found under another child’s bed. All three children were sent to live with their grandmother.
Earlier this year, a grandmother was to blame when her seven-year-old grandson brought her drugs to school. The grandmother claimed she “lost track” of the nine bags of heroin while babysitting. Unlike the daycare and other instances noted above, police say the school did not immediately call authorities, though a statement issued by the Pennsylvania elementary school claimed otherwise, and police noted that the seven-year-old could have become ill or, worse, died from ingesting the drug. When investigators did search the home of the grandmother, who lives with the seven-year-old and his parents, she admitted to being an active heroin user and police found a pair of children’s shorts that contained an empty heroin bag. The boy told police he found the bags he brought to school in the washing machine.
By Jennifer Fernicola Ronay