The task for the fresh-faced kindergartner students was to bring important family items for show and tell.
But one kindergartner floored his teacher and local law enforcement officers when police say he pulled his mother's crack pipe and an ounce of drugs from his backpack.
The child's mother was charged with possession of a controlled substance and one count of first-degree child endangerment. Bond was set at $7,500 for 32-year-old Michelle Marie Cheatham.
A family friend at Cheatham's home told KCTV5 that the boy is now being cared for by loved ones.
Sweet Springs Elementary School officials contacted police on Sept. 6 about 8:30 a.m. Superintendent Donna Wright told police that students had been asked to bring "pictures of their family for show and tell," according to court documents.
The teacher told police that the boy produced for his "show-and-tell" family items the pipe and "several baggies of crack rocks," according to court records. The rocks tested positive for methamphetamine. Altogether, the drugs totaled about an ounce and were worth about $3,700, officials said Monday.
A search warrant was executed at Cheatham's home and a police dog named "Boomer" found a crack pipe, according to court records. Charges were filed Sept. 12.
Police Chief Richard Downing told KCTV5 Monday that a child bringing drugs to show and tell was a first for his law enforcement career.
"When I called the prosecutor about it, they said, 'You're kidding me, aren't you?'"
The circumstances of the arrest also flabbergasted neighbors.
"That kind of makes you wonder why parents would leave something like that out for a child to get a hold of," one resident said.
A source close to the investigation said Cheatham's life began spiraling out of control after her husband died earlier this year in a car crash and she received a sizeable military pension.
Cheatham posted bail, officials said Monday night. She is now in the hospital after experiencing complications from a previous gastrointestinal surgery, the family friend said.
Sweet Springs Principal Kelsey Kearns issued a letter to parents on Tuesday.
Kearns said the drugs were discovered when the child was unpacking his backpack in a hallway.
"These items were never brought into the child's classroom," Kearns said. "To the best of our knowledge, the students never came in contact with the substance."
Kearns said parents were not notified about the incident because of the pending investigation.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:29 PM EDT2013-05-21 19:29:04 GMT
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