Pubdate: Fri, 09 Feb 2007
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 2007 New Haven Register
Author: William Kaempffer, Staff
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


NEW HAVEN -- A second-grader at Truman School is accused of bringing 
crack cocaine into school this week and may have dispensed it to classmates.

The 7-year-old, police said, is charged with possession of narcotics 
and will have to appear in juvenile court.

Sgt. Rick Rodriguez, a supervisor in family services, said police 
released the boy to his parents, but made referrals to Yale Child 
Study, which can provide follow-up counseling, and the state 
Department of Children and Families "to take a look at the family situation."

Rodriguez said the boy told detectives he found the drugs on the way to school.

"We interviewed enough people that we're comfortable with that 
answer," he said.

Police were called to the school at 114 Truman St. by a school 
official Thursday afternoon and two packets of crack were turned 
over. It was unknown whether that was the extent of what was brought 
to the school.

Police found the boy at home.

Rodriguez said he couldn't confirm that the boy handed out the drugs 
to classmates, but a parent outside the school said her second-grade 
son was one of the unwitting recipients.

"Basically, a kid brought in some bags. I think it was crack cocaine. 
He gave them out, but a lot of the kids didn't know what it was and 
threw it out," said Nichola Tracey.

Her son then piped in: "I put it in my back pocket, but then I took 
it out and threw it away."

After school, the boy told his grandmother, who informed Tracey.

The incident happened Wednesday. School officials learned of it Thursday.

According to police, the young suspect wasn't in school when police 
showed up, but Rodriguez couldn't say whether he didn't come to 
school at all or took off when the trouble started brewing.

Schools spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo referred all questions 
to police.

Many parents picking up their kids Thursday were unaware of what had 
happened and expressed shock -- and some disbelief -- that someone so 
young would have narcotics.

Heidy Quiles attended Truman as a child and, now 25, has two kids 
there, one in second grade and one in kindergarten.

"I love the school," Quiles said. At the same time, she said, she was 
alarmed at what had transpired.

"Yeah, I'm very concerned. My daughter, she's a second-grader. I 
wouldn't want my kids to put their hands on anything like that."

Wayne Lopez also has a daughter in second grade and reacted with 
skepticism. "A second-grader? It's hard to believe. This is not what 
this school is all about," he said.

Tracey was more philosophical, saying the entire episode was a sad 
illustration of a larger, societal problem.

"Anything is possible these days. (Kids) see their parents doing it 
and think it's right. That's the world we live in."
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