Aide at Spring Grove Intermediate School charged with being high on the job

YORK COUNTY — The home health aide of a 10-year-old Spring Grove Area Intermediate student has been charged with being high on marijuana while caring for the child at school, according to Northern York County Regional Police.

Monifa Aquielle Sylvester, 26, of the 800 block of East Philadelphia St. in York, is charged with endangering the welfare of children, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a weapon on school property, and public drunkenness in the incident, which occurred Wednesday at the school on 1480 Roth Church Road.

Police say they began investigating Wednesday at about 10 a.m., when two staff members at the school contacted them to report they could smell marijuana on Sylvester, who is a home health aide for a non-verbal student with autism at the school. The staff members reported that people in their classroom were suffering from headaches related to the strong smell of marijuana coming from Sylvester and the bags she brought to the classroom.

One staff member allegedly told police that Sylvester “didn’t seem like herself,” and was a bit “off,” police say.

Sylvester was brought to the school’s administrative office to speak to police, according to the criminal complaint affidavit. Police say they could detect the “overwhelming” odor of raw and burnt marijuana on her when she entered the office.

Sylvester allegedly denied using any drugs, and allowed police to check her bags. Police say they could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the bags when they began searching them.

Police say they found rolling papers, a clear, plastic tube containing suspected marijuana, a pack of cigarettes containing nine rolled joints of suspected marijuana, and a handheld electronic stunning device. Sylvester allegedly admitted the items belonged to her, police say.

Police noted Sylvester appeared “sleepy and relaxed” when speaking to them and administered field sobriety tests, which they say revealed Sylvester was under the influence. Field tests on the suspected marijuana found in Sylvester’s bag indicated a positive for marijuana, according to police.

Sylvester was taken into custody, transported to the York County Judicial Center, and arraigned on the charges, police say.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.