Grandparents frustrated with school over grandson's stolen pills

Grandparents frustrated with school over grandson's stolen pills
(Christian Flores | WBTV)
(Christian Flores | WBTV)

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Nathan Smith is a 7-year-old boy who has gone through a lot already in his young life. His mother abused crack cocaine while pregnant with him, and because of that, he has severe ADHD today.

However, the Springfield Elementary School student was not getting the medication he needed to focus in class, because his grandparents say someone working in the school stole his pills.

"I trust them with my child every day, and someone is stealing his prescription medication," said Mike Smith, Nathan's grandfather.

Nathan is now in the care of his grandparents, Mike and Cathy Smith. They tell WBTV over the last few weeks, 26 of his pills have been stolen. Nathan takes one pill a day in school after lunch, which means more than a month's worth of medication - if you remember school is five days out of the week - has gone missing from the locked desk drawer they're kept in.

"I asked how many people have keys to the file cabinet. They said very few. Then I said, 'well you should be able to narrow it down then,'" Smith said.

But so far, Smith has received no answers from the school or the Gaston County Schools system. He says the school has refused to pay to reimburse the missing pills, until he told a school official he was going to take this story to WBTV Wednesday.

The Smiths are still looking for answers, but they say their top priority right now is to get Nathan the medication he needs in order to thrive in school.

"At this point all I care about is him. I don't care who took it. You do whatever you gotta do, but replace his medication. And they've given me no phone calls back," Smith said.

A spokesman with Gaston County Schools declined an interview, but says they are aware of the situation, and are working with the family to resolve the issue.

Because the medicine is so strong, the Smiths had to get a police report to get a new prescription from Nathan's doctor and the pharmacies.

Now, they are not giving the school Nathan's medication anymore. They give him his morning dose an hour later, so he can go most of the school day without another pill. He takes his afternoon pill when he gets picked up by the babysitter.

Smith says it crushes him and his wife that they can no longer trust the school.

"I love that little boy. There's nothing worse to me than hurting that child. I don't care if it's physically, mentally, or taking his medication," Smith said.

At this point, no one has been arrested or charged for this.

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