Student found with drugs at school

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2004

A Montevallo Elementary student who brought marijuana to school has become the youngest student to be sentenced to the Shelby County School System’s alternative school.

Public relations supervisor Cindy Warner confirmed a 10-year-old Montevallo Elementary fifth grader recently brought marijuana to school.

&uot;Yes, it did occur,&uot; said Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major. &uot;The youngster did bring marijuana to school. I don’t know what his total intent was.&uot;

Major said the student showed the marijuana to others and was taken to the county’s juvenile detention facility.

He will spend the rest of the school year at the alternative school.

&uot;It is unusual. I think he is the youngest child we’ve ever had (in alternative school),&uot; said Major.

&uot;We will make sure he does not have a lot of contact with high school students … no unsupervised contact,&uot; he said.

&uot;The message has to be sent it is totally unacceptable to have marijuana or any other controlled substance at school. It would be hoped that a very good lesson is learned by this young man and that he can go forward to be successful in the rest of his education.&uot;

When asked if the incident represented a problem with drugs among elementary students, Major responded, &uot;I think it is a highly unusual situation that’s probably an isolated situation. I don’t believe we have a drug problem at our elementary schools. We will always work to make sure our schools are safe and drug-free.&uot;

Warner said the student was taken into custody after the school’s principal was alerted by students.

She said the principal confronted student who &uot;admitted he had it&uot; and turned it over to her.

Warner said the principal contacted the student’s parents and the Montevallo Police Department, who arrested the student and placed him in juvenile detention.

Warner said the student was released to his parents and has been sentenced to alternative school &uot;for a class three violation of the student code of conduct for illegal drug possession.&uot;

Warner said the student will be taught on a one-on-one basis with his teacher.

Montevallo Police Chief Steve Southerland said he could not comment on any juvenile case.

He also refused to comment on the origin of the drugs or any further investigation of the child’s family.

Montevallo Elementary principal Christine Hoffman said the student bringing marijuana to school was &uot;an isolated incident.&uot; And when asked if it was indicative of an ongoing drug problem at the school, she said, &uot;Not at all.