Emma Bartelt, a fourth grade student from Miami, Florida, had an interesting subject for her science project: cocaine. I think the nature of the experiment is an important one to distinguish. Little Emma did not, disappointingly, ingest a ton of cocaine and run amok throughout her elementary school gymnasium, allowing everyone to observe the effects of nose candy on a 10-year-old. Instead, she used three drug dogs and $1,300 worth of powdered sugar to test each dog’s sense of smell. Her aim was to determine which dog could locate the coke fastest. The drug dogs, a springer spaniel, a golden retriever, and a chocolate lab, as well as the drugs, were provided for her by her father, Douglas Bartelt. Bartelt is a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau. I’m not sure how any of what he did was legal, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume he borrowed the yayo from the evidence lab.
With an unprecedented subject matter, Emma put all of her classmates’ pathetic homemade volcanoes to shame, and won first place in her school’s science fair. Emma, her party favors, and the three narc dogs advanced to a district-wide competition.
Apparently, the school’s principal, John Schuster, found nothing wrong with the project, since Emma’s dad did the primary handling of the Columbian currency. In a publicly issued statement, Schuster said the project, “involved a very unusual set of circumstances,” and from their understanding, “the parent was the only one involved in working directly with the hidden substances.” Emma’s mother also wanted to make it clear that her daughter does not have a drug problem, telling reporters her daughter was under constant supervision for the duration of the project. She is absolutely positive the 10-year-old “did not touch the cocaine.”
Either way, it’s pretty standard procedure, here. Her father used his position of influence within the community to give his daughter a leg up academically. I’m not sure if it was an abuse of power or not, but I think it’s important not to lose sight of the true lesson learned from all of this: experimenting with drugs is fine.
Image via Yahoo