Grandmother charged after 7-year-old brings heroin to school
A Chester County woman is facing child-endangerment and drug charges after her 7-year-old grandson brought heroin to his elementary school, authorities said.
The Chester County District Attorney's Office said 56-year-old Pauline Bilinski-Munion, of Modena, was taken into custody Sunday after her grandson brought the drugs to Caln Elementary School on Friday.
Officials allege that Bilinski-Munion left the heroin out in her home while she was taking care of her grandchildren, and the 7-year-old found the drugs and brought them to his first-grade classroom.
On Friday, a Caln Elementary teacher learned that a student had drugs, and discovered nine bags of heroin in the boy's pocket.
The boy initially said he found the heroin in the school yard, prosecutors said, but later admitted that he brought it from home.
The child told investigators that he found the heroin by a washing machine at the Modena home where his mother, father and grandmother live. (The boy typically lives with an aunt in Coatesville, prosecutors said, but had recently been staying in the Modena home.)
Authorities said Bilinski-Munion was babysitting the 7-year-old and a 1-year-old child on Thursday and lost track of the heroin she had brought into her home.
Bilinski-Munion admitted to investigators that she is an active heroin user, and told them that she found the drugs outside her home on Thursday, according to court documents. The documents say the grandmother admitted that she didn't call authorities and instead kept the heroin "in case of an emergency."
Prosecutors said another 7-year-old student also obtained heroin at school from Bilinski-Munion's grandson, and the district attorney's office criticized the school district's handling of the incident.
The Coatesville Area School District told parents that a "dangerous and illegal" substance was found in the grass and parents should check to see if their children had any. The district didn't notify prosecutors, who learned about the heroin from media reports.
Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said in a statement that the notice was "late and vague" and the school district should have immediately brought emergency and police officials to the school.