North Cedar Elementary student found with marijuana - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Cedar Elementary student found with marijuana

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL)-- A fifth grader now faces criminal charges after bringing marijuana to school.  The incident happened Monday at North Cedar Elementary in Cedar Falls.  It was on the school playground during noon recess, that the 11-year-old was caught with a marijuana cigarette.  The school's principal is just thankful for the students who reported it to teachers.

 "We had excellent staff members and students that reported they were seeing something that didn't look to be quite right. So we addressed the situation right away. Really, only one student was in possession of something inappropriate," said North Cedar principal Jen Hartman.

The school's principal says this kind of incident has never happened in her time at North Cedar, or any of the elementary schools she's worked for.  And she says the school works hard to encourage good behaviors with character education programs, aimed to prevent problems.

All of those things point to kids making good decisions, being proactive, being in charge of their decisions, and really trying to lead healthy lives," Hartman said.

And the school is pleased with the good decisions many students made to tell an adult about what they saw on the playground Monday.  Parents we talked with are concerned about the incident, but not so much because of what happened.  They're more concerned that it's just fuel to the fire for people who think poorly of the school.

"I just hope when people hear about this they hold back their judgment and keep an open mind.  You know these things do happen, and we need to take advantage of these things that happen to teach our kids valuable lessons," said parent Jenna Miller.

Miller contests that lots of good things are happening at North Cedar and hopes the community will take the time to look beyond the mistake of one student to realize that.

And like Miller, many of the parents we talked with say it's unfortunate that this incident had to happen at North Cedar, when it could have easily happened at any school, anywhere.  The school principal says it's a chance to reinforce good behavior at school in hopes that something like this never happens again.

Cedar Falls Police say the 11-year-old involved in this incident has been charged with drug accommodation, which entails possession with the intent to deliver.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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