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Third-Grade Student Found With Marijuana

A St. Paul third-grader was suspended Monday after he was discovered with possession of marijuana.

The story ran in the Star Tribune and was written by Howie Padilla. The story reported that the student was in possession of a small bag of marijuana at a school on the 500 block of Concordia Ave. The story reported that they boy’s mother believed that someone must have left that bag at the house.

When police asked the boy's mother about where he might have gotten it, she said that a friend might have dropped it at the home, said police department spokesman Tom Walsh.

The story said that the case was turned over to Ramsey County child protection and that the school district was not disclosing how long the suspension would last.

School district officials said they are unable to disclose the length of the boy's suspension.
District spokesman Casey Mahon praised the student who brought the marijuana to the attention to administrators.

A second version of the story ran in the Pioneer Press, written by Mara H. Gottfried. This story reported that the school was the Benjamin E. Mays Magnet for Communication Arts and Leadership School. However, the story reported the lead in a very interesting and unprofessional way.

A third-grade student brought pot to a St. Paul school Monday and showed it to his friends, police said today.

Gottfried used the police report as the basis of the lead and elected not to use the school officials as the primary source. I thought it was interesting that Gottfried used the word “pot? in the lead and used the word “marijuana? in the second graph. I thought that the writer should have been consistent with the terms that she uses. This story was able to use the boy as a source and was able to confirm that the boy found the marijuana at his home. The boy’s mother still claimed that someone must have left it there. The story reported that the case had been referred to the county’s child protective services but did not say what that county was.

The Gottfried version was simply too odd to be enjoyable. The idea that she would use “pot? in the lead was extremely off-putting. I thought that the lead was very unprofessional. The story was far too short and the county was never specified on first reference. The only bright spot that I found in the Gottfried story was that she was able to use the boy as a source and quote him. Aside from this idea the Padilla version was far superior in its professionalism. The Padilla version was much more organized and slightly longer in length which was much more appropriate. I found the Padilla version much more enjoyable to read.


I think it's very bad. Marijuana should not be presented to 13 years old girls.

In Holland, marijuana is legal and only 17% of the people have ever tried it, compared to 37% in the united states.