Mount Morris Parents Demand Action After Students Consume Cannabis Gummies at School

June 4th, 2024 Safety & Education
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Parents of three preteens from McMonagle Elementary School in Mount Morris Township are seeking answers following an incident where their children were hospitalized after consuming gummies allegedly containing cannabis. The affected students, two aged 12 and one aged 11, reportedly ate the gummies unknowingly, which were purportedly provided by a classmate.

The incident occurred on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m., according to Mt. Morris Township Police. The students claimed they were unaware that the gummies contained cannabis. Initially, police reported the girls' ages as 13, but parents confirmed they were younger.

Rita Williams, the grandmother of the 11-year-old, voiced her concerns, emphasizing the need for open communication within the school. "I'm concerned not only about my 11-year-old grandchild, I'm concerned about all of the kids," Williams stated. "That's what we first should start at; opening up the line of communication."

Prennicea Horton, mother of one of the 12-year-olds, recalled her shock upon receiving a call from the school. "I got a call saying to come get my kid because my kid is stoned," Horton said. "My first thought was how is my kid stoned, my kid is at school."

When Horton arrived at the school, alongside Mia Thomas, mother of the 11-year-old, and Misha Thomas, the child's aunt, they found the girls lethargic and unable to walk properly, with elevated heart rates. "My daughter is traumatized from this," Horton added.

Misha Thomas described the harrowing scene: "The image is still in my head. I hate this for her. To be 11-years-old, to even go through that, is a traumatic situation, period."

The Mt. Morris Township Police Department confirmed that all three girls exhibited signs of lethargy and appeared disoriented. They reported that the students claimed to have received the gummies from another student who denied any knowledge of the incident.

The parents called 911 as their children showed adverse effects and were subsequently taken to Hurley Medical Center. They expressed frustration over previous similar incidents at the school, stating that adequate measures were not taken to prevent recurrence.

"Not the first time at all, and the right protocol has not been taken, that is what upsets me the most," Horton remarked. Mia Thomas, the mother of the 11-year-old, added, "From my understanding, this is not the child's first time bringing it to the school. It should have never happened a second time, let alone the first time; the first time it should have resulted in expulsion or something, but obviously nothing because this time it affected my child."

Police reported not finding any gummies on the student accused of providing them, leaving the source of the gummies unclear.

In response, Westwood Heights Schools issued a statement urging parents to discuss the dangers of consuming adult substances with their children. The statement read in part, "We want to take this opportunity to remind all parents to talk with their children about the dangers of consuming medications and other substances designed for adults. Open communication about these risks is crucial in preventing such incidents in the future… Please be assured that this incident is still under investigation, and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our students."

The trust between families and the school is now in question. Williams noted, "I'm not here to try and bash, I just need you to listen and talk to me, that's all I need."

As the investigation continues, all involved students have been asked not to return to school.

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