MARLIN, Texas – Police recently busted a drug dealer inside Marlin Elementary School – a 9-year-old who brought in several prepackaged bags of marijuana to hawk to classmates.
Superintendent Michael Seabolt told the Waco Tribune the fourth-grader flashed three or four bags of pot to students on the bus on the way to school Monday morning, and continued to try to sell his wares to other students once he got to school.
“It was all self-reported by students who saw something that wasn’t right and reported it,” he said. “I’ve been in this business 20 years and I’ve seen a lot of things, like having weed show up on a high school … isn’t an unheard of thing, but the only shocking or surprising thing here is the student’s age.”
“By 8:30 or 9 the teachers were told and we’re onto the boy,” Seabolt told KWTX.
School officials questioned the boy immediately after the reports, but he denied the accusations and, after not finding any marijuana, administrators sent him back to class.
“Maybe an hour later, there was an empty desk out in the hallway that another fourth grader found a bag with what appeared to have marijuana in it,” Seabolt told the Tribune. “That was turned into the officer and that reignited the investigation.”
Seabolt alleged the young student admitted to stashing the pot in the desk, as well as other bags in a toilet tank, when confronted a second time.
“It all looked pre-packaged, looking like it was for sale, so you know there is an adult that is behind this, or behind how he got access to it,” the superintendent said.
“The child’s parent were also shocked and surprised,” Seabolt told KWTX.
The student was too young to charge criminally under Texas law, which sets the threshold at 10 years old.
Seabolt told the news site district officials “haven’t had one single drug situation in any of our schools this year and now this, a 9-year-old.” Moments later, he acknowledging that a second grader found a bag of marijuana in the school playground the same day at the other incident.
“It’s a playground used by the public too and the baggie didn’t match those brought in by the 9-year-old, so we don’t think they are related,” he said.
School officials placed in the district’s Discipline Alternative Education Program “for a time” as Marlin police investigate how the student acquired the marijuana.
Seabolt said the student told school officials he got the marijuana from a friend’s house, the Tribune reports.
Many parents who were not notified about the drug bust were irate on Facebook.
“I get calls about my kids talking in class but no notice or call about this?” Speedy Smith posted. “Think it’s time to transfer!”
“This is absolutely NOT shocking,” Raychul Kristine Sumners wrote. “Hopefully the parents of this kid are being investigated for neglect.”
“What I would like to know is why parents were not notified of this situation!” Christine Sharp added. “I have a child that attends Marlin Elementary at the moment, and I have not gotten any notice about this situation! …
“And a baggie on the playground that magically was found the same day doesn’t seem to strike this ‘wonderful’ superintendent as odd lets me know just how seriously he takes his job,” she continued. “Yes, drugs in schools is a problem everywhere, but … a 9 year old whom is intending to distribute drugs, in an elementary school is ridiculous. Glad my son is transferring at the end of the year!”