Fairfax Co. nurse accused of stealing prescription drugs from students

The former school nurse at Greenbriar East Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, has been indicted, accused of stealing prescription medication from students.

Jennifer Carpenter allegedly stole Adderall and Ritalin, which are stimulants often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

According to prosecutors, over a five-month period, Carpenter took the students’ pills for herself and then gave the students over-the-counter medications in their place.

“It is a gross breach of trust and safety when something like this happens, and we are committed to acting swiftly to ensure our children are protected,” said Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.

Carpenter was employed by the county’s health department, which said it reported her to police and fired her.

The department said it first learned on May 27 that there was a discrepancy in a medication for a student at Greenbriar East Elementary School.

“The health department responded immediately and began an internal investigation,” according to a statement from the department.

Department officials said they contacted Fairfax County police, notified parents and guardians of the affected students and placed Carpenter on leave.

Carpenter was then fired June 15, the department said.

“Parents and their children depended on and trusted this individual to provide necessary medical care. As always, we will seek accountability and a path forward for the victims and their families to heal,” Descano said.

A grand jury indicted Carpenter on 11 counts: two counts of possession of Schedule I or II drugs; one count of obtaining drugs by forgery; one count of adulterate or misbrand drugs; and seven counts of contributing to the delinquency or abuse of a child.

The counts carry a maximum penalty of up to 32.5 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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