Five sixth graders at Cornerstone Middle School in Baxter, Tennessee, located in Putnam County were suspended last week after they were caught selling pills at school.
According to Putnam County School officials the students were trying to sell pills to other students and some of the students did ingest some of the pills. No students fell ill according to Director of Schools Jerry Boyd.
The pills were both prescription and over the counter medications.
“This certainly is a very serious matter and it is a dangerous situation that in this case luckily no one was hurt,” Boyd said.
A teacher at Cornerstone Middle School was told about the drugs on campus and immediately alerted the principal who started an investigation.
The principal interviewed all of the children involved separately and suspended the five students as a result.
School officials would not comment on the student's current situation, citing privacy regulations.
Putnam County schools do have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and all of the students were subject to the policy.
Boyd said the school punishment phase for the students is complete, but a criminal investigation by Baxter police is ongoing.
“As a parent myself, I have a fifth grader, we have to remember that any medication needs to be secure,” Boyd said. “Especially during this season there are a lot of medications out there because of the flu going around and other viruses.”
Boyd said there is not indication that the students' parents knew or were involved in the pills being brought to school.
Cayla Judd's 11-year-old daughter is a sixth grade student at Cornerstone Middle School.
Her daughter was not involved in the pill incident, but she heard about the group of students being disciplined.
“It is very shocking that they would attempt it especially not knowing what they are doing,” Judd said. “They have the DARE program so all of them should be aware of how it will effect you, what it could do to you and how it can make you sick.”
Judd has talked to her daughter about drugs in the past and planned to have another conversation with her after learning more about the incident at Cornerstone Middle School.
Putnam Schools Assistant Director Jeff Comer told the paper the pills were both prescription and over-the-counter.
The students, four boys and one girl, have been suspended and turned over to the custody of their parents.