No Matter How You Feel About Pot Smoking, We Can All Agree These Third Graders Getting Stoned Are A Bit Too Young

shutterstock_179320268I have no problems with adult humans getting as high as they want to, but it terrifies me that three THIRD grade students in a Sonora elemenatary school bathroom where busted getting stoned. These kids are ages eight and nine years old. I have a nine-year-old. I can’t even fathom her understanding how to obtain pot. She is just now brave enough to buy a pack of gum if I stand behind her in the checkout lane at the store. From San Francisco CBS Local:

Sonora Elementary School Principal Chris Boyles would not speak with CBS SF regarding the case, but Superintendent Leigh Shampain confirmed that the students were caught smoking marijuana in the school’s bathroom.  He would not discuss how the students might be disciplined.

“(I’m) shocked. To be in third grade and have their own pipe,” parent Linda Rodriguez commented to KTXL-TV. “I think they should be expelled, but I also think they should follow it further to where they found (the drugs).”

The case was forwarded to the Tuolumne County Probation Department.


Of course they should find out where the kids got the drugs and have intensive meetings with the parents and ugh, I cannot even fathom this. These kids were all not old enough to be doing drugs, because they aren’t even old enough to understand you cannot do drugs in school. I’m not trying to be flip about this, but it’s just so scarily absurd I don’t think I even fully understand why kids would do this. I’m sure they either learned it from older kids or siblings or their own parents. Awful. The kids have been released to their parents.

(Image:  JeremyNathan/shutterstock)

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  • Kay_Sue

    I have to disagree with this point: “because they aren’t even old enough to understand you cannot do drugs in school.”

    They very well could have been aware. We were all aware in high school, and yet, there was a certain building’s bathrooms that you knew not to use if you did not want a contact high (or to use if you did!). Doing something in a particular venue doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unaware that you shouldn’t be doing it in that venue.

    It is absolutely terrifying though. They have to have learned it from somewhere–hell, do they even have drug education at that age? My kid is only seven, I need to know.

    If I were to posit a hypothesis, it would be that someone lifted their parents or an older sibling’s stash. Because anything else–that the parents or sibling were complicit, or that someone actually sold marijuana and the paraphernalia associated with this activity to a third grader–is simply too awful for me to consider this early in the morning.

    • Eve Vawter

      “We were all aware in high school”

      High school > third grade

      Like a 7 year age diff

    • Kay_Sue

      I know, it wasn’t the best example. But I still can’t agree with the blanket sentiment that because a kid does something at school, they didn’t know that it wasn’t supposed to be done at school. Third graders do many things at school that I am sure they are aware they are not supposed to.

    • Crusty Socks

      you mean beyond “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours?”

      That’s disturbing that 3rd graders would know these things.

      I blame Miley Cyrus

    • Kay_Sue

      My mom once took a note from one of her second grade girls that made her, a woman who had been married several years and is by no means a prude even now, blush. Kids pick up on so much shitty shit.

    • Kay_Sue

      And notice they didn’t light it up on a playground. They chose to go somewhere that would be concealed. Seems to indicate that they knew something about their actions was not acceptable.

    • JLH1986

      If they are mimicking what they see at home though? Older siblings probably smoke in bathrooms not outside, parents may think they are being sneaky when smoking. I think they knew their actions weren’t acceptable, but I suspect it was in more of the I’m doing something adults do fashion v. I’m getting lit fasion.

    • Kay_Sue

      And I’m not disagreeing with that. But it still points to knowing that this is something they shouldn’t be doing. Kids understand concealment and the role it plays in things that aren’t acceptable–my three year old conceals himself to poop his pants, because he knows he should be going in the potty. So I still can’t agree with the idea that, just because they did it, they didn’t know it was something that shouldn’t be done. That’s all I’m saying. Kids do things that are wrong, knowing they are wrong, or suspecting they are wrong, all the time. It happens.

      At the very least, I would argue they knew that playing with fire was wrong…and yet they had to use something to light it.

  • JLH1986

    My now ex SIL, hid a quarter bag of weed at her house. Nephew has seen it and takes it, puts in his book bag and goes to kindergarten to use the grass his mom keeps for show and tell. He had NO idea why everyone freaked out. My bro in law was called they wouldn’t release my nephew to mom, mom admits the pot is hers, cops come, nephew is having a meltdown because mommy is in trouble and doesn’t understand why. Major drama. I am fully confident that if he were a bit older he’d have smoked it because he saw mommy doing it without any real knowledge of what it was other than mommy does it.

  • Rachel Sea

    I rolled my first joint at five, and smoked my first one at 9. I knew EXACTLY what I was doing when I did it, and I knew full well what the consequences would be for myself and my parents if I were caught. I didn’t want them to go to prison, so I was discreet and careful, but if I had been less savvy, or more indifferent about their potential incarceration I might have brought it to school.

    There are a wide range of upbringings out there, unless the source of the weed makes it into the news, we won’t know why these kids did what they did. For all their sakes, I hope it turns out to have been oregano.

  • tk88

    You really seem to struggle with understanding people who live differently. For some people, kids included, drugs are as normal as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My ex’s mother once put a pot brownie in her lunchbox (when she was in third grade–hah!) by mistake and thank God she didn’t like the taste after one bite. One of my friend’s used to get bong hits from her father when she was about 7-9. It’s pretty obvious the kids’ parents and/or older siblings likely do drugs. These children don’t need to be expelled, they need to be helped. And I think you need to realize that stories like this and the one about that 13 year old boy who was shot dead aren’t about kids “like yours” who are cared for properly. Children who do drugs, join gangs, commit crime, and do other awful things like this are usually neglected and/or abused–or they have severe mental health problems. But things like this in many places are just everyday occurrences.

  • pixie

    Yeah, I really don’t think these kids should be expelled. If anything, they should have someone come in to ask them where they got the weed, how they knew what to do with it, find out what’s going on in their home lives. There should be repercussions to let them know that it is not ok to get high at school, but nothing close to expulsion.

  • scooby23

    Man, when I was in sixth grade,these two kids ( in my grade ) were caught smoking some weed in the bathroom, and I thought THAT was young. It terrifies me to think about not just HOW the kids got a hold of the weed, but how they knew how to smoke it. I hardly understood what weed was when I was a third grader, much less knew how to correctly use it. This may be a place for CPS to get in.