ANDERSON, Ind. – A small bag of marijuana was found inside a 3rd grade student’s book bag, authorities said.
Anderson Community school officials and the police department are investigating the discovery, which was made at Tenth Street Elementary School on Tuesday. Dr. Tim Edsell, Interim Superintendent of the Anderson Community School Corporation, is looking into the incident. Parents were sent a letter on Wednesday with information about the incident.
This is the second time in less than a month that an illegal drug was found inside an elementary school. On Sept. 25, a teacher found a balloon of heroin in a hallway at Erskine Elementary School. Authorities have not determined how more than a gram of heroin made it into the school.
Dr. Edsell said because of these two incidents, it may be time to reevaluate their training and whether more education about drug prevention is necessary.
“We want to do our due diligence in making sure that our students are informed of these illegal substances and getting proper education and increasing our training and knowledge so that students make good decisions,” Dr. Edsell said.
Their school system also offers information about illegal substance awareness. It is part of the curriculum, Dr. Edsell said. The school corporation also offers programs like Athletes of Characters. Older students speak with younger students about making good life choices
“That one-on-one connection is very, very integral in shaping our young students lives,” Dr. Edsell said.
The school system also offers programs through groups like Intersect and Madison County Coalition Against Substance Abuse. Edsell said their programs are geared more toward their older students. He said they will now review the programs they offer and whether more of them need to be available more frequently to younger students.
“We want to see if we need to enhance that frequency and those opportunities,” Dr. Edsell said.
As a result of these two incidents, Wendy Cook with Intersect said it is time to speak with children about these topics.
“I think it’d be great to see the City of Anderson sign up some of our elementary schools (so that they) get some prevention efforts in elementary schools,” Cook said.
Intersect is a nonprofit organization. It works with various schools across the county.
“I think also that we need to…as parents…that we need to be speaking to our students and (we should not wait) until they’re in 5th and 6th grade to speak to them about alcohol, tobacco, and the dangers of drugs,” Cook said.