City first grader brought drugs to school

Police respond to an early report of a child with an unknown substance at Commodore John Barry Elementary School at 59th and Race Streets in Philadelphia. (Alejandro Alvarez/Staff Photographer)

An entire first grade class has been taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after one of its students brought drugs to school.

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard said Tuesday that a first grade teacher at Barry Elementary School in West Philadelphia found one of her students playing with what appeared to be small packets of drugs. The teacher asked the child to drop the packets, then following district protocol, had them evacuate the classroom. Police and paramedics were called.

The school nurse and paramedics began checking the children, since drugs can be absorbed through the skin. Officials decided to take the entire class to CHOP for observation.

Police are investigating, Gallard said.

Officer Jillian Russell, a police spokeswoman, said that officials believed the drug was heroin, but further tests needed to be completed.

Charges are likely once officials determine how the child, a 6-year-old girl, got the drugs, Russell said.