ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Channel 9 has learned that three third graders at Pine Hills Elementary in Orange County are in trouble for bringing marijuana to school. A concerned parent called Channel 9 and we've been investigating ever since.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office says a teacher saw the third graders with two small bags of marijuana Tuesday. A letter was sent home to parents explaining the situation after the three children, none older than 10 years old, brought pot to school.
With a street value of about $10, the nickel bags of pot are far from the biggest drug seizure ever. But factor in where they were found and who was holding them, and Pine Hills parents are all but speechless.
Channel 9 has learned the three Pine Hills third graders are facing felony charges of drug possession after one of them brought cannabis to campus.
"We're not going to tolerate things like this," says Principal Debra Gore.
Gore says it was a teacher who first spotted the students showing off the drugs, which the on-campus deputy quickly confiscated.
Orange County schools have long had a zero-tolerance policy. Normally, a student found with drugs would be expelled on the spot. But since authorities may never know which student was ultimately responsible, Gore says all three will be suspended from school as the state attorney considers whether to prosecute them.
"I can't control what goes on in the neighborhood, but I can control what goes on on my campus. And that's where the focus is, and that's what I need to reassure parents," says Gore.
School leaders say parents have been cooperative, but defensive, of their respective kids, each of whom is claiming a different kid supplied the pot.