HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Holyoke community is reeling this evening as police say a five-year-old student brought cocaine to school and ingested it.
Benny Garcia, the boy's father, pleaded not guilty in court to drug and child endangerment charges this morning.
Parents in the H.B. Lawrence school system are upset and the school is responding tonight as well.
The parent we spoke with today has a child in first grade, so one year older than the student who police say brought the cocaine to school yesterday.
That kindergartner reportedly told teachers he felt like a superhero when he tasted the powder inside a packet stamped "Spider-Man".
"I was really bummed and surprised," local parent Pamela Antonetty tells us.
Pamela says she can't believe drugs were found on a kindergartner at her son's school, H.B. Lawrence in Holyoke.
"Because, again, it’s kindergarten. This thing shouldn’t happen. You hear about it in high school, but not kindergarten," stated Antonetty.
Police say the kindergartner told teachers he tasted the powder from the packet stamped "Spider-Man".
They report the child was brought to a hospital and is now okay.
The child's father, Benny Garcia, after facing a judge on Friday, is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing next week.
At the time of his arrest, prosecutors say Garcia was already out on bail for a 2018 drug case.
Antonetty says a situation like this makes her fear that her son's school is no longer as drug-free as the sign outside suggests.
"He said it made him feel like a superhero," continued Antonetty.
In a statement to Western Mass News, the school's principal says:
"...Holyoke police were contacted immediately in accordance with district policy, and proper steps have been taken to ensure the future well-being of the child."
For Antonetty, she's expecting a tough conversation with her first grader that not everything with a superhero on it is meant for kids.
"I would definitely talk to him about it, because it’s not right. Just because it has a sticker of a cartoon character doesn’t mean you should be having it in your backpack or the parent to be laying around for the child to bring to school," added Antonetty.
Holyoke Police tell us the 5-year-old and another child in the home have been placed in DCF custody.