Five Sandtown Middle School students could face the highest level of school punishment for sharing drug-laced treats on Valentine’s Day, and more students could be disciplined. Fulton County Schools announced Friday that the district has begun disciplinary proceedings against five students for their roles in a Feb. 14 incident that sent 28 students to local hospitals. Four students stayed in the hospital overnight.
The GBI found THC, a chemical in marijuana, in a cereal treat eaten by students, which was among 46 food items the crime lab tested. The GBI said Friday that drugs were not detected in any of the other foods collected from the south Fulton County school.
The school district has charged students with code of conduct violations related to the consumption, possession and/or distribution of illegal substances. The punishment they face could be the most-stringent of disciplinary consequences.
“These acts may be grounds for expulsion and automatically result in a mandatory 10-day suspension with consideration for a recommendation for long-term suspension, expulsion and/or assignment to an alternative education program,” said Cliff Jones, chief academic officer, in a written statement released Friday afternoon.
The district did not identify the students, citing privacy concerns. More students may face school punishment as the investigation continues.
The school district’s police department is conducting a separate investigation that could lead to criminal charges, but no decisions have been made.
While 28 students were taken to hospitals, the district said some may not have eaten contaminated treats. Instead, some students may have experienced “a psychosomatic illness, where stress and anxiety lead to physical symptoms,” according to a district statement.
Students who got sick were disoriented, had stomach and head pain, and red, watery eyes. A school police report also noted hallucinations and vomiting.