Elementary students with drugs likely face minor punishment

Two Harper Elementary School students could face minor disciplinary actions, after a small amount of marijuana was found in their possession, according to Clayton County Schools Chief Human Resources Officer Doug Hendrix.

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said the incident occurred on Dec. 14, and was reported by the school’s principal, Wilbur Garner. Another student, who witnessed the two with the marijuana in class, told the principal.

Hendrix said it is the responsibility of officials at Harper Elementary School to determine the appropriate disciplinary measures for the two pupils involved. He said he was not certain what the school has decided –– or may decide –– is appropriate punishment in this case.

Principal Garner said he was unable to comment on the incident, since the investigation of it is still being conducted.

“It’s something [the school] has to consider, that they are elementary kids,” said Hendrix. He added that, because of their age and the small amount of marijuana found in their possession, he does not believe the punishment will be harsh.

“Very rarely does something like this happen [at an elementary school],” he said. Generally, in cases where marijuana is found on school grounds, he said, the punishment can vary from a warning, to a 10-day suspension from school, or a tribunal hearing. “It really depends on the amount and what [the student] was planning to do with it,” he added.

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that an investigation is proceeding on how the students came to be in possession of the marijuana, and whether possible charges could be sought against their parents..

The law in Georgia, authorities said, is that possession of anything less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor, which could carry a penalty of up to a year in jail.

Hendrix was asked it he thought the students were aware, or understood, they had an illegal substance in their possession. “I don’t have a reason to think the [students didn’t],” he said. “Why would you carry it around?”