HAMILTON COUNTY (March 11, 2015) – She was supposed to clean up a school, but investigators said a custodian at a Hamilton County school spent time cleaning out a medicine cabinet, stealing prescriptions of at least three elementary-aged students at Hamilton Heights Primary School.
Deputies arrested 52-year-old Nancy Jasper on Tuesday night. She's preliminarily charged with theft and possession of a controlled substance.
The superintendent said a review of medicine storage policies is coming, because of the incident. And it's particularly alarming, because the students who attend the school range in age from preschool to second grade, very young children.
"Disappointing is the word we'd use," said Derek Arrowood, Superintendent of Hamilton Heights School Corporation, "Clearly this was taken from children."
Arrowood said school nurses noticed medicine missing days ago and informed authorities.
Investigators arrested the evening shift custodian, Nancy Jasper, at work on Tuesday night. Deputies report Jasper had narcotics and amphetamines taken from the nurse's office along with a key to the medicine cabinet.
Arrowood said she wasn't supposed to have that key. Nurses are the only ones allowed to have it.
"There was another key that the employee allegedly found and used to get into that cabinet," he said.
This time last month, CBS4 told you about former Tri-West Hendricks High School teacher Jeremy Small. He resigned, arrested on multiple charges, including possession of a controlled substance. Investigators said he stole student medicines from the middle and high school over the holiday break.
With two cases of school medicine thefts, we wanted to know what's behind it.
"I don't know that it would be shocking necessarily to see this, because there are different things that go into play," said Robin Parsons, Director of Adult Services at Fairbanks.
Parsons said in general, thefts of prescription pills can be out of desperation, triggered by an addiction, or even committed for the pills themselves, because of the market for drugs.
It's hard to know a true motive, though.
This case, for Arrowood, is a call to make sure student medicines stay secure. In yet another instance where it's alleged they got into the wrong hands at a safe place.
"We will re-assess absolutely at our primary school and our four other schools, and I'm sure other schools will see this as an opportunity to make sure they're doing it the right way, and that the medicines are safe," said Arrowood.
The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office has not filed formal charges against Nancy Jasper. She bonded out of jail, but did not answer the door when we went by her home for comment.
The superintendent of North West Hendricks School Corporation told us they have not made any policy changes as a result of their incident with former teacher Jeremy Small, but they are looking at increasing cameras near clinics in buildings.