An 8-year-old boy faces drug possession charges after a teacher at the local elementary school found 35 plastic bags of cocaine in his book bag, police said Friday.

The second-grader is believed to have found the cocaine - valued at about $700 - in his neighborhood before deciding to bring it to school.The boy's teacher at the Jefferson Parkway Elementary School discovered the plastic bags of cocaine, which were bound together with foil in the front pocket of his book bag, on Thursday as she and the boy searched for a permission slip for a physical examination.

Aside from their general astonishment, authorities said they were alarmed by the potential danger to the child and his classmates, likening cocaine to a loaded firearm in the hands of an 8-year-old.

"He probably had a general idea of what it was, but there's no way a kid that age would know about the dangers," said Newnan City Police Chief Ronnie Williams.

The boy, who was suspended after the discovery, apparently did not give any of the narcotics to his classmates or consume any of it himself.

Police said possession charges will be filed soon against the lad before a local juvenile court judge.

The child also will be suspended from school until his parents meet with school officials to decide how to handle the problem.