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Delaware County crossing guard charged after allegedly giving vapes, marijuana to students, DA says

Delaware County crossing guard accused of giving vapes, marijuana edibles to kids, DA says
Delaware County crossing guard accused of giving vapes, marijuana edibles to kids, DA says 01:55

DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Instead of a crossing guard, students from Penn Wood Middle School in Delaware County walked home with the help of a police officer Wednesday afternoon.

That's because a crossing guard in Darby has been accused of distributing electronic cigarettes and suspected marijuana products to students.

Officials say 26-year-old Kiara Lee was charged in connection with providing vapes to students.  

Police are asking families with information to come forward, especially if their children have ever interacted with the crossing guard.

"Just to know that they can get it from someone who's supposed to be helping them get home is insane to me," Penn Wood Middle School parent Maya Bryant said.

Bryant's 14-year-old daughter walks home from school, often using the same intersection Lee was stationed at.

"It's alarming," Bryant said. "It's disturbing."

Kiara Lee Delaware County District Attorney's Office

According to the Delaware County District Attorney's Office, Lee provided vapes to students at or near the intersection of North MacDade Boulevard and Summit Street, which is about five blocks from the school.

The DA's office said after a police investigation last month, a student witness told school officials they saw Lee providing students with vapes at least three separate times.

One student who received the vapes also told the student witness that they would smoke marijuana with Lee frequently, officials said.

The guardian of the student who received the vapes said Lee also provided their child with marijuana edibles.

"You shouldn't do such a thing," Darby resident Shay Johnson said. "It's kind of disgraceful a little bit. I feel bad for these poor babies."

According to officials, text messages between a student and Lee confirmed they had taken the edibles.

"You're a crossing guard. I trust that when my kid comes home from school, the crossing guard isn't giving them anything crazy," Johnson said.

In a statement, Police Chief Joseph Gabe said, "Our dedicated team knows that protecting the kids in our community is absolutely central to our mission. While marijuana may not seem like a big deal to some folks in the community, I think we can all agree that crossing guards should not be providing narcotics – even if it is 'just' marijuana – to our kids."

Parents said they believe more should be done to ensure those working around children are vetted properly.

"I feel like people should pay more attention to who they are hiring, especially when it comes to children," Johnson said. "I don't care if you feel like it's too extreme to be going through stuff like this, but that's nothing no parent would ever want their child to be introduced to."

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lee was in custody and awaiting arraignment, according to the district attorney's office.

She is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and corruption of minors.

Officials said Lee was an employee of the Borough of Darby. CBS News Philadelphia has reached out to the borough and we have not heard back.

The William Penn School District released a statement, reading:

The William Penn School District is disheartened that someone employed by the Darby Borough serving our district and community would behave in this reprehensible manner. We thank Police Chief Joseph Gabe and the Darby Police Department as well as District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and his office for pursuing this case and announcing charges against the suspect. The William Penn School District aims to support our students, and we will work with whoever has been affected and their families to provide assistance at this time. As the suspect is not one of our employees, we will be issuing no further comments.

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