Nearly 30 students were taken to the emergency room after eating candy and treats on Valentine’s Day at a Georgia middle school. According to the local CBS affiliate, 28 kids from Sandytown Middle School complained of feeling sick and were taken to local hospitals, some by ambulance, to be examined by medical professionals.
On Thursday, several students shared Valentine’s Day treats during a locker break. The snacks included store-bought, heart-shaped lollipops and homemade Rice Krispie treats. Shortly after consuming the snacks, some kids started reporting feeling nauseated and disoriented. One student even reported that some people were vomiting.
“There was an ambulance outside our school and I knew a lot of people were getting sick,” said sixth-grader Jah’nyla Wright. “A couple of kids in my class their stomachs started hurting then they had to get escorted to the clinic. People were vomiting in the hallways.”
The treats were brought in by students and so far only students have fallen ill. Teachers weren’t impacted.
Cliff Jones, the district’s chief academic officer, announced that the school teamed up with local hospitals to get them medical attention as soon as they realized that there was a situation, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“When students began reporting their symptoms, we partnered with local municipalities to immediately get them medical attention as quickly as possible. For the safety of all, students and staff were instructed not to eat anything given to them by another person and not to eat anything they didn’t bring from their own home,” he said.
Talked with the mayor of South Fulton, he told me about 20 children from Sandtown middle school sick from Valentine’s Day candy. Children were taken to nearby hospitals. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/VzMc20FzOE— Dave Huddleston (@DaveHWSB) February 14, 2019
Students were taken to local hospitals, including the Hughes Spalding hospital and a Children’s Hospital at Egleston. At least one student was taken by stretcher into a waiting ambulance.
There is some speculation that the candy was tainted with drugs, according to 11 Alive. After it was determined that the snacks could be causing the illnesses, the school warned students to not eat any treats brought in by other students. It was initially reported that the school was shut down, but that’s not the case.
The school immediately contacted parents and local law enforcement and the snacks were sent to a local lab for testing.
Medical personnel haven’t released any details about what made the children feel ill, and the district’s police department has not made any determinations about the situation. Police haven’t said whether it seems the candy was tainted intentionally, or if it was some sort of accidental contamination. The children are currently under medical supervision and more information should be released tomorrow, according to Alicia Cardwell Alston, spokesperson for the Fulton County Board of Health.