Education

Boys, 10, won't face charges in drug case

AIKEN -- Family Court prosecutors will not pursue charges against two 10-year-old boys police say were caught at school in early February with more than three grams of marijuana that they tried to sell the drugs for dessert and bubble gum.

Officials said Monday the youngest age that children can be charged with a crime is 10, and typically that is done when the authorities have a strong belief that the children knew what they were doing was wrong. Knowing that the children were trying to sell the drugs for cakes and gum begs that question.

"I am fine with (the outcome)," said Burnettown Police Chief David Paul Smith. "You really need to try and look at a what a 10-year-old really understands."

Burnettown police said they don't know where the two Jefferson Elementary School fourth-graders found the drugs or what prompted them to bring the drugs to school.

Smith said the investigation is now in the hands of narcotics officers at the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

"Both students live outside my jurisdiction," he said.

Smith went on to say that the parents of the two boys were not under investigation, but he said the police would not leave them out the equation.

"If Aiken County were to find there are drugs in the homes, then charges could be filed," he said.

But, he said while he was investigating the matter, leads took him elsewhere.

The day the drugs were found, the school's principal immediately took the drugs and called the police.

Police said they do not believe the boys or any of the children at the elementary school smoked the drug or were in any serious danger.

The Area 3 Advisory Council will be the first to consider the disciplinary matter, looking at the actions and the behavior of the students.

Area 3 Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tim Yarborough said the advisory council has discretion and looks at each case individually, but the immediate reaction is to recommend an automatic expulsion recommendation.

He said that there are a range of decisions that can be made.

-- Aiken Standard, McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

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