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Principal and family’s shock as child carries drugs paraphernalia home from school

Four year old brings dope pipe home from school playgroud

By Kieran Hughes

The principal of a North Belfast nursery school has spoken of her shock after a four-year-old pupil found a cannabis pipe in the school yard and brought it home. The girl found the pipe in the grounds of Stanhope Street Nursery School in Carrickhill on Monday

(June 11). On Tuesday morning the girl’s mother brought the pipe into the school to give to principal Karen Timmons. The principal said the consequences don’t bear thinking about if the girl had have injested any drug that may have still been in the pipe when she found it  “The little girl had brought it home from nursery and was playing with it last night,” said Ms Timmons.

“I didn’t know what it was but her Mum informed me that her husband knew what it was.

“I was appalled that the child had been able to come across this found and take it home with her, she obviously thought it was a toy, and to be honest I thought it was a toy too.

“I am disappointed that someone would have so little respect for the children in this area that they would leave something like this left behind in a nursery.

“There could have been drugs still in that and for all I know there was stuff still that. She could have put her finger in a licked it and the consequences don’t bear thinking about it. The majority of the community don’t want this type of behaviour around here.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor Conor Maskey said the discovery highlights the wider issue of drug abuse in our community.

“Whatever people do in their own private lives, schools should be off limits. But in the wider issue we have sadly seen examples of some young people taking their own lives directly linked to drug misuse,” he said.

“I would call on people who know that their family and friends might be up to this type of activity to contact directly the likes of Great New Lodge Safer Streets who are working with substance abuse charity FASA to ensure that people are getting assistance in terms of any negative affects in terms mental health.”

Local community worker Frank Dempsey said the incident is “deeply concerning”. “It is clearly putting children’s lives at danger. I would appeal to these people to stop what they are doing and I would appeal to parents and people using the facilities at the community centre to be vigilant and contact the community centre with any concerns.”

Neighbourhood PSNI Constable Stuart Jones said it is worrying that the pipe was found in a nursery school.

“It is extremely alarming. We would find bongs lying in the street, but to find it in a school playground it would nearly make you think that they had been in the grounds smoking it.

“If anyone has any information I would encourage them to contact myself on 07764638464,” he said.

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