There’s nothing wrong with sharing a sweet treat or two with classmates on Valentine’s Day, and homemade baked goods are certainly more thoughtful and often tastier than store-bought candies. Where five middle school kids in Atlanta went wrong was included a secret ingredient in the treats they shared with their classmates: marijuana.
That’s right, a quintet of students at Sandtown Middle School in Atlanta are facing disciplinary action after sharing Rice Krispie treats that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said tested positive for THC. The GBI lab is continuing to test additional samples for weed and other illegal substances.
School officials became suspicious when 28 students had to go to the hospital on Valentine’s Day. The students reported shortness of breath and other feelings of illness. Four were kept overnight for observation.
Dr. Shannon Flounnory, the director of safety and security for Fulton County Schools, said in a press conference that “All indications are that they were brought in to the school by students,” adding that students were allowed to pass out treats on campus — contrary to normal rules — because it was a holiday.
Cliff Jones, the chief academic officer for the district, told WSB-TV that it’s possible that not all of the hospitalized students actually ingested drugs. “But when any child reports feeling ill, our clinic staff evaluates them and trusts the opinions of other medical personnel, such as EMS responders, to determine whether to transport a student to the hospital for further assessment.”
What’s unclear is what kind of punishment the five students could face. Suspension and expulsion are both on the table, as are criminal charges in juvenile court.
Privacy laws prevent school officials from releasing the names of the students or what punishments they ultimately receive, but those protections do not apply to the adult or adults who gave the illicit treats to the students.