Wilkinsburg investigates powder found in elementary desk

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Wilkinsburg police are investigating a powdery white substance found inside a desk in a fourth grade classroom at Turner Elementary School.

Acting Superintendent Archie Perrin Jr. said Wilkinsburg police, who were not immediately available for comment, will test the material to determine if it is a drug or another substance.

In a letter to parents, Turner Elementary Principal Tanya Smith said while students were cleaning out their desks Tuesday afternoon, one discovered the substance in the desk of a former student.

Mr. Perrin hadn't seen the substance, but said he understood it was wrapped in a small "packet." He also said the former student had transferred out of Turner about six weeks ago.

The teacher immediately notified the principal, who contacted police, Mr. Perrin said.

"Right now, it's more of a police investigation," he said.

No one was in direct contact with the substance, but the student who found it was taken to the school nurse as a precaution, Mr. Perrin said. He wasn't sure when police expect the test results back.

Ms. Smith commended the students for alerting their teacher and encouraged parents to use the opportunity to talk with children about the dangers of drugs.

"Our school takes all such incidents very seriously and immediate action was taken to safeguard the school and students involved," she wrote.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944.


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