11-year-old student charge with marijuana possession

Sunday, March 6, 2016 - 20:00

An 11-year-old primary school student is expected to appear before an Arima magistrate today charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. Police said on Friday, the Standard Four student, who attends a primary school along the east/west corridor, allegedly had a quantity of marijuana in his possession.

Investigators said around 3 pm, the student, who did not attend classes during day, went into the school with the parcels of marijuana and began showing it to his friends. Another student alerted the security guards on duty. 

The student was searched and 23 grammes of marijuana, a lighter and two cigarettes were allegedly found on him. The security guards immediately notified police, who responded and took him into custody. Lawmen said the student’s house was searched but nothing was found on the premises. Officers said the boy was taken into custody at the Arouca Police Station where he stayed over the weekend. The marijuana will be taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for testing after the matter today. PC Liam Paul from the Arouca Police Station is investigating.

In a brief telephone interview yesterday, first vice president of the T&T Unified Teachers' Association (TTUTA), Antonia De Freitas, said the issue of possession of drugs was a criminal offence. De Freitas said the need for police intervention was necessary to find out where the marijuana came from. “He won’t pick it up off the street, it had to come from somewhere and is a source of investigation and counselling. 

We tend to focus only on violence and discipline in the secondary schools, but it prevalent at the primary level and we need to have full intervention there as well,” she said. Attempts to contact Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday were unsuccessful  as he did not answer his cellphone.

This incident comes in the wake of several reported cases of criminal activity going on at secondary schools across the country in recent weeks.

SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.tt/news

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