A Granite School District kindergartner who brought a small glass pipe commonly used to smoke crack cocaine or methamphetamine to show and tell won't be punished, but sheriff's deputies plan a visit to the child's home.
South Kearns Elementary School officials called sheriff's deputies last week after the child brought the pipe to school.Possession of alcohol, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia violates the district's strict "zero-tolerance" policy.
School officials believe the boy's actions were innocent, said school district spokeswoman Michele Bartmess.
"They didn't feel any compunction to punish the child, but the police officer felt a home visit was warranted," she said.
A report filed by Salt Lake County Deputy Sheriff Michael R. Bendixen said, "It is not known whether the pipe came from the boy's home or if he found it in the neighborhood."
The paraphernalia was turned over to the deputy so he could destroy it.
Bendixen said this was his first possession case involving a child so young.
"It's more than just a little bit of a problem to bring drug paraphernalia to school," he said.
Lorraine Sanchez, counselor for Valley Mental Health's adolescent drug and alcohol unit, said she was saddened by the incident.
"I find it real surprising that a kid as young as he was would have that in his life. When you think about show and tell, you think of a child taking his favorite book or toy and he's bringing a crack bong to school. You really have to wonder what his environment is," Sanchez said.
"My first impression was, I wonder if a 5-year-old understands what it was. We are getting younger and younger kids (in treatment)," Sanchez said. "It's hard for me to believe that a kindergartner would understand what that is, but we know that drugs are in the schools."
The adolescent unit works with children ages 12-18, many of whom started drinking alcohol by age 9 or 10.