AKRON, Ohio — Eight Litchfield Middle School got sick and some ended up in a hospital Tuesday after eating cannabis edibles, according to school officials.
School leaders said one student was transported by EMS to a local hospital. Two other students were taken by their parents for medical attention.
According to Principal Jessica Sax, a student brought the gummies in a colorful package that has an “extremely potent” warning on it. The product has THC in it which is the active ingredient in marijuana.
Sax said an 8th grader shared the gummies in a third-floor bathroom with other students and within a few hours seven girls and one boy started getting ill.
“Most of them had nausea. We had some that were very lethargic, very tired,” Sax said. “It’s very concerning. When it first occurred, I don’t think any of us really understood the gravity of the situation until we saw the number of students that started getting sick.”
Sax praised another student who notified a teacher that something inappropriate was going on in the bathroom after overhearing talk of edibles.
“We actually held class meetings this morning to address this and we want kids to know that if there’s anything suspicious going on, they need to make sure they’re letting an adult know immediately,” Sax said. “We want them to understand that you have a choice. They don’t have to succumb to the peer pressures.”
Tamika Legions told News 5 her daughter’s friend got very sick from the gummies.
“I think it’s messed up,” Legions said.
Dr. Stephen Sondike, director of adolescent medicine for Akron Children’s Hospital, believes that cannibas-infused gummies and other similar products appeal to children through colorful packaging.
“I implore parents to try not to buy these products because they can be very enticing to the children,” Sondike said.
Beyond getting kids high, Sondike said the gummies can cause a variety of health concerns.
“It can make them very sick from agitation, heart problems, breathing problems,” he said.
Sax said the investigation is continuing and many of the students involved could face disciplinary action.
“It’s up to us to make sure that we’re keeping our students safe, and by us, I mean the community. It’s the parents being involved. It’s the school systems making sure that we’re communicating with each other and really helping raise our students and help them understand to have healthy relationships.”