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Mom, boyfriend charged after first-grader heroin scare in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The mother of a child who brought bags of heroin to her first-grade classroom in Philadelphia was charged along with her boyfriend with reckless endangerment and drug offenses on Wednesday.

An entire class of first-graders at Commodore John Barry Elementary School was taken to a hospital for examination on Tuesday after a teacher saw a 6-year-old girl playing with what appeared to be narcotics, said Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman.

Police identified the mother as Marie Hunter, 32, and her boyfriend as Christopher Troy-Jenkins White, 28, both of Philadelphia. Each was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another person and narcotics possession.

The girl's teacher turned over 10 bags of heroin to police, and officers discovered an additional bag in the girl's pants pocket, police said in a statement. Police said the girl may have torn open one of the packets with her teeth. She was rushed to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by ambulance after complaining of stomach pains. The 19 other students in the class were taken to the hospital on a regular school bus. The girl is in the custody of Philadelphia's Department of Human Services.

None of the children showed signs of injury and all of the children have been released to their parents, she said.

A search warrant for the family's home turned up 18 packets of marijuana, police said.

(Editing by Scott Malone, Gunna Dickson and Peter Cooney)