The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

September 30, 2013

Police continue probe of heroin at Erskine Elementary


Police were no closer Monday to discovering how more than a gram of heroin was left Wednesday in a hallway at Erskine Elementary School.

According to Anderson Police Department spokesman Joel Sandefur, the drug was found in a container in a hallway late Wednesday morning, prompting school officials to contact police.

Classes were temporarily suspended and the school was locked down for a few hours while Madison County Drug Task Force officers collected the substance and Anderson police dogs searched the school for signs of more drugs.

The school has video cameras in the hallway where the heroin was found, but Sandefur said Monday that the video footage examined by police hadn't yielded any strong clues.

"There's been no change in the case, but we're still investigating," he said.

On Thursday, in a voice mail message left for The Herald Bulletin, Erskine Principal Scott Merkel indicated he believed the incident was a random drill done for the safety of the students.

On Monday, Assistant Superintendent Beth Clark said the statement was a misunderstanding, and assured the public that the school system takes the incident seriously. She said ACS officials didn't immediately release a statement about the incident because district officials wanted to work with legal counsel to draft an appropriate response.

"On Friday, we sent a note home to all the parents, telling them what happened," Clark said.

That message noted that ACS officials and APD officers conducted a random metal detector and backpack search of students Thursday and no illegal drugs were found.

ACS Chief Operations Officer Joe Cronk said Monday that district officials are continuing to work with Anderson police.

"Anything criminal, we aren't qualified to investigate ourselves. We leave that up to police," he said.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.


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