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Registered: 07/06/10
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UK: Four boys AGED NINE suspended after being caught selling cannabis at primary school
    #485479 - 10/06/10 08:44 AM (7 years, 8 months ago)

Jaya Narain

Daily Mail

Tuesday 05 Oct 2010

A gang of primary school pupils have been suspended after they were found dealing drugs in the playground.

Teachers caught the four nine-year-old boys selling wraps of cannabis to fellow pupils between lessons for 50p each.

In an astonishingly sophisticated operation, one boy would collect the money from pupils while another would hand out the drugs.

Some pupils are understood to have handed over their weekly pocket money in order to pay for the Class B drug.

The incident, which happened at Cherry Fold Primary School in Burnley, Lancashire, last Friday, highlights the rising number of children across the UK experimenting with drink and drugs at an increasingly young age.

Doctors warn that cannabis, which can lead to depression and schizophrenia, may be particularly harmful for this age group.

The school was visited by Prince Charles earlier this year where he was told about the work of a charity working with schools to improve the emotional well-being of children in the school.

The mother of one of the suspended boys said she was appalled by her son's behaviour as he was taught the difference between right and wrong.

But she claimed the drug dealing youngsters were a symptom of broken Britain and the levels of crime and disorder on her housing estate.

The woman, who cannot be named, said her child had told her he had sold the cannabis in the school playground for another boy.

'I've questioned my son and he's told me that he felt like he was being pressured to collect money and hand out drugs,' she said.

A mother of one of the boys suspended blamed the local Burnley area in for leading the youngsters astray. (Posed by model)

'He told me there was an operation where one child would take the money and another would hand out the drugs.

'It's shocking and unbelievable. People I've spoken to over the weekend cannot believe it. Children should be able to go to school without feeling pressured in to selling drugs.'

The single mother, who has five children and lives in a terraced house, said: 'It's scandalous. My feelings are mixed because my son says he felt like he was pushed into it, but at the same time I teach my children right and wrong. He needs to know what he did was wrong.'

'They know about the dangers of drugs and stealing and they know where the dealers live and to stay away from them.

'In my eyes I know he was doing wrong, so I can't defend him. I'm disappointed in him and he has promised me it won't happen again.'

The family, which live close to the notorious Stoops Estate near Burnley, Lancs, claim the area had seen a rise in anti-social behaviour among young childrfen with many drinking, smoking drugs and starting fires.

Last week police confirmed an arson probe had been launched following a fire in a row of boarded-up terraced houses.

And in August, children as young as eight were questioned by police after a block of new homes under construction were torched.

The drug dealing incident was uncovered by teachers and police were immediately called in to speak to the pupils and their parents.

Each boy is below the age of criminal responsibility and has instead been told to complete a youth referral order.

This means the pupil will have to agree a contract - between three and 12 months - and their behaviour will be closely monitored to ensure no repeat of the offence.

Once the contract is completed the 'conviction' will be considered spent and they will not have to disclose the information to any future employer.

Outside the school gates horrified parents were stunned that children so young could be caught up in drug dealing.

Pete Young, whose three-year-old daughter attends the school, said: 'It is disgusting but in a way I'm not surprised.

'Sadly, it is the way this town is going. It's terrible. To think children so young are involved in it is frightening. I just hope it's a one-off incident.'

Deanne Marsh, acting headteacher at the school, said: 'It would not be appropriate for me to comment further as we take our pupils' confidentiality and safety very seriously and we are still looking into all the circumstances.'

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: 'The parents and pupils have been spoken to and necessary steps have been taken by issuing the children with youth referral orders. Any further steps are a matter for the school.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1317836/Four-year-old-boys-suspended-school-teachers-catch-dealing-cannabis-playground.html#ixzz11Uz4hVlw




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