Four Potter Junior High eighth grade students were taken to Fallbrook Hospital by ambulance after taking prescription drugs on campus, and another eight grade student was arrested for having stolen then selling the drugs on campus.
According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron McCracken, the Sheriff’s Substation received a “We Tip,” which informed the officers that drugs were being used on the Potter campus.
Upon arriving at the scene, responding deputies found that the four students had purchased what they called “happy pills” from a fellow student, and each ingested “at least two” of the pills each.
Responding officials reported the students had taken 20mg pills of a prescription antidepressant and one of the students began feeling ill shortly after.
“They had no clue what they were taking,” said McCracken. “Because the pills were prescription and were antidepressants, we can safely say they were not ecstasy.” Rumors had surfaced around campus that the students had taken ecstasy.
Ambulances were called to transport the four pupils to Fallbrook Hospital as a precautionary measure. The juvenile who allegedly sold the pills to the students was arrested for stealing the medication and selling it on campus.
Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) pupil services director Tom Rhine said the children were released from the hospital later that day and are all doing well.
FUESD is in the process of investigating where the student obtained the drugs in order to sell them, but McCracken said it is more than likely that the student stole them from home because of the type of drug.
“To the district, distributing drugs on a school campus is a large offense,” said Rhine. “[School officials] will be meeting with the parents of the students in order to discuss the response to the incident as well as the consequences.”
The district will handle each student’s involvement as individual incidents and gather as much information as possible by taking written statements from each of the involved students before deliberating on the measures to take with each.
In order to teach students about the dangers of taking prescription drugs for any purpose other than their prescribed use, the school district will follow up this incident with a drug education program and send out a letter in order to inform parents about the importance of securing their prescription drugs, said Rhine.