JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Four second graders were sent to the hospital after eating THC gummies at Robert H. Jenkins Elementary school in Putnam County. The Putnam County School District told Action News Jax a container of gummies was found with one of the students and then they learned 4 students consumed gummies.
Action News Jax learned the students are all 8-years-old, PCSO said it appears one of the students got into a family members THC gummies.
“It was a little scary because my son said he knew what they were he knew they weren’t candy,” Michaela Spaulding said.
It around noon when deputies were called to the school after the 8-year-olds appeared to be under the influence.
Michaela Spaulding said it happened in her son’s classroom.
“A little worried because I didn’t know, we’ve talked to him about it so he knows better to take something, but I wasn’t sure if he was one of the kids who did it or not,” she said. “We just tell him don’t take anything from anybody but your teacher or one of us.”
It’s the second time in six months at the same school that students were either taken to a hospital or got sick from consuming THC or CBD gummies. It should be noted it didn’t happen to the same students.
One parent who didn’t want to be identified has five children at the school said it was terrifying to see it happen again and this time to even younger students.
“I don’t want them to go back to the school honestly and I told many other parents that if I find out about another concern or incident that’s close to this, I’m pulling them from the school because I can’t do it no more.”
Action News Jax spoke with Mike McCormick with Florida Poison Control said it’s a serious situation when kids get into THC.
“Pull down your breathing, slow down your heart rate, especially in children they can have hallucinations and the stories are heartbreaking you hear from the vomiting tremors, anxiety, dizziness and confusion. The one we really worry is a loss of conscious and total unresponsiveness,” he said.
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Spaulding and the unidentified mother both said it’s on the parents to do better, but one also wants the school to do more.
“I feel like they need to be more cautious on what these kids are bringing in their lunchboxes because that’s the problem. It’s right around lunch time whenever this happens,” she said.
Action News Jax asked the Putnam County School District about what’s going on inside the school, what they believe is the underlying issue and what is being done about it. A spokesperson sent us the following response:
“The underlying issue in both of these cases is students brought something from home that looked like candy when, in fact, it was a dangerous substance. The district plans to continue working with local agencies to communicate to our families the importance of keeping medication away from children- especially those substances in the home that look like candy and are attractive to children. We will also continue to educate our children about the importance of not ingesting candy or food that was not given to them by a trusted adult. Drug awareness education programs include these topics and are shared in all of our schools.”
The Putnam County Sheriff’s office said right now they’re treating this as accidental but told Action News Jax it’s still a very active investigation. The agency added leaving out gummies or medication where kids can access it can be considered child neglect.