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20 Students Taken To Hospital After First Grader Brings Heroin To Cobbs Creek School

By Pat Loeb, Walt Hunter

Twenty first grade students were taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Tuesday after police say a six-year-old student brought eleven packs of heroin into a classroom at Commodore John Barry Elementary School at 59th and Race Streets.

Police say they were called to the scene after a first-grade teacher saw one of her pupils playing with the packets. Two of the packets had been opened, investigators say, and one had been chewed open.

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Lt. John Walker explained, "We know that one of the packages clearly looks like it was bitten and we do have one student saying that the young lady who did bring the substance to school did have that packet in her mouth."

Parents were shaken to learn about their children possibly being exposed to the drug, which can be deadly, even in small amounts.

Kristina Perry, a parent said, "Apparently she was playing with the packet and showing it off."

Danitra Salley, another parent, added, "I was afraid. My son is just 7-years-old. He shouldn't be exposed to something like that. It just doesn't make sense to me. It should never have been in the home."

The mother of the drug-carrying 6-year-old declined to comment as she left the school to be interviewed by detectives. Meanwhile, police say the search of the school found no other narcotics in the school and all 20 students were examined and released.

How did the student get heroin into the school? Gallard, the school district spokesman, says first graders are not searched when they come to school. They're not sure how the child came to possess the drug and are sure she and her fellow students had no idea it was a potentially deadly narcotic.

Parents raced to the school after learning police cars and fire units were outside. Those parents were reportedly upset they weren't notified more quickly.

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A School District spokesperson says all the proper protocols were followed and the safety of the students was top priority.

Late Tuesday, police told Eyewitness News, they searched the child's home and expect to file charges against the child's mother and her boyfriend.

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