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A western Missouri kindergarten pupil drew national attention by bringing his mother’s crack pipe and drugs to school for a class assignment.
The Sweet Springs Elementary school faculty found a crack pipe and an estimated $3,000-worth of methamphetamine in the boy’s backpack before he was to present it to the class on Sept. 6.
Faculty the informed the Sweet Springs Police Department about the situation.
“I’ve been doing this for all my career, and I have never had a show-and-tell, not like this,” Chief of Police Richard Downing said. “You don’t expect something like this from a kindergartener.”
The boy’s mother, Michelle Cheatum, was charged with child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance in Saline County Circuit Court on Sept. 12.
The local police department will continue to conduct canine inspections throughout the kindergarten-to-high school building every two years. Superintendent Donna Wright said the school is solely concerned with the safety of the child.
“This is a situation where you have a child who, in my opinion, had no idea what he had,” Wright said.
Wright said nothing remotely like this has ever happened at Sweet Springs Elementary School in her nine years there.
“This was totally new to us,” Wright said. ”This is giving a lot of people the wrong perception of Sweet Springs, Mo. This is something that doesn’t happen here at school and hopefully will never happen again.”
Cheatum is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 28.