First-graders found playing with cocaine in Port Lavaca

Nov. 19, 2010 at 5:19 a.m.

Parents are still reeling after four first-grade students were found handling a small bag of cocaine in a classroom at Jackson-Roosevelt Elementary School on Tuesday.

"I am kind of shocked. I'd like to know more about it, especially if it was in a classroom with our kids. Everything we've heard has been rumors and word of mouth. I'd like to know what really happened," Amy Ochoa said. Ochoa has a daughter in kindergarten and a son in first grade at Jackson-Roosevelt Elementary.

A teacher found the students with the small bag of white powder on Tuesday afternoon, and the Port Lavaca Police Department was called to investigate the incident, Lt. Brandon Riedel said.

A field test confirmed the substance was cocaine.

The students said they found the inch-long, inch-wide plastic bag of cocaine tucked under the rug in a classroom, Riedel said, but it's still unclear how the drug got there.

All of the children exposed were given medical attention, but none of them exhibited any signs of exposure to the drug.

The classroom was searched and cleaned after the incident.

Jim Story, interim superintendent of Calhoun County School District, said they were all upset to discover something like this in one of their schools.

"I think you're always shocked when something like this happens. We don't know how it happened, but we're working to find out," Story said.

Jackson-Roosevelt Elementary principal Mitzi McAfee said she was unable to comment because of district policy.

Police are investigating the incident but don't have any suspects yet, Riedel said.

"It's very unusual to find something like this in an elementary school. I don't know why it was there, and that's what we're trying to find out," Riedel said.

Parents just want answers.

Gilma Moreno, whose son Karlos is in fourth grade at Jackson-Roosevelt, said she was frustrated with the lack of communication from the school district.

"I picked my son up on Tuesday, and there were a bunch of police cars out front. I wondered what they were doing, but I didn't hear anything from the school. I learned about it on Facebook," Moreno said. "I was surprised, and I didn't like that we didn't hear about this sooner."

Story said no one has been fired because of the incident.



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