ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - What made 28 Fulton County middle school students so sick they were forced to be taken to the hospital in the middle of their school day? That’s what school police are trying to determine, but newly released documents suggest investigators are focusing their attention on possible edibles, drug-laced treats brought to school for Valentine’s Day.
“Every student’s health, safety and well-being is Fulton County Schools’ top priority, and we continue to support those at Sandtown Middle School who were impacted on February 14,” the Fulton County School District wrote in a statement to FOX 5 News.
A heavily-redacted police incident report was released Tuesday which describes how events unfolded as well as interviews with at least 12 students. The report states that homemade Rice Krispy treats and heart-shaped lollipops were taken as evidence following the illnesses.
The report states that students started to report feeling ill around noon. A student was sent to the nurse’s office complaining of an upset stomach and headache. Police said they arrived to find the student disoriented, hallucinating with water red eyes and was “frantically crying off and on.” The officer said some students exhibited signs of drug intoxication.
Shortly after, more students began to show up with symptoms and school officials notified Grady EMS and South Fulton Fire Rescue for assistance. In all, 28 students were transported to the three Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta locations for treatment. A few were required to stay overnight. All have since been released from the hospital.
Twelve students were interviewed by school police giving a litany of food and treats they had eaten that day. That’s how investigators were able to zero in on the two treats. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is testing those treats to determine if they were laced with any drugs.
“Our School Police Department continues to work this case in an extremely methodical and objective manner. Part of the processes includes student interviews, collection of evidence, and a review of initial reports,” the school district wrote.
Students had a holiday Monday and Tuesday, but officials said they will have extra counselors at the school on Wednesday “to support students with their social/emotional needs.”
“We want to be very clear that Fulton County Schools will follow through to the full extent of the law as well as with the most severe consequences allowed under our Student Disciplinary Code of Conduct should the investigation indicate foul play,” the school district wrote.
Fulton County Schools said they plan to launch an educational campaign about the dangers of edibles and eating foods from unknown sources as a result of this incident.
Fulton County Schools Police Department said they awaiting the toxicology report from the GBI and the case remains opens.