Pontiac Students Hospitalized After Consuming Cannabis Edibles in Class

May 18th, 2024 Safety & Education
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Parents of students at Pontiac's International Technology Academy's middle school are being informed via email about an incident where two children ingested cannabis edibles during school hours.

"The fact that the students felt bold enough to consume these edibles in front of a teacher while in the classroom is alarming," said Michelle Broxton, a parent of a seventh grader.

The incident came to light on Thursday afternoon when teaching staff noticed unusual behavior in three students. District officials confirmed that two of these students had ingested cannabis edibles. Emergency medical services were called, and the two affected students were transported to a nearby hospital. According to district officials, they are now in stable condition.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the matter, and administrative hearings are scheduled for the students involved.

This incident is part of a troubling trend of increasing cannabis edibles consumption in schools nationwide. Kimberly Leverette, Ed.D., interim superintendent, addressed this growing issue in a statement to 7 News Detroit on Friday.

"Unfortunately, this is a challenge faced by districts everywhere," Leverette stated. "Superintendents across our region are working tirelessly to find solutions to this significant concern. It's rare for a week to pass without hearing about a similar case in another district."

Leverette emphasized that while the district is continually enhancing security and safety measures, preventing such incidents entirely at the school level is challenging. "This issue extends beyond our school walls and requires broader societal change," she added.

The problem is not isolated to Pontiac. Just two weeks ago, Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, Ed.D., highlighted a similar increase in his district, with students using vape pens and consuming cannabis edibles. Vitti sent a letter to elected officials, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, outlining his concerns and proposals.

"As the Superintendent and School Board of Michigan's largest school district, we feel compelled to address the escalating issue of cannabis edibles and vape pen usage among students," Vitti wrote. "Since the legalization of cannabis, our district has observed a troubling rise in drug-related infractions."

Vitti proposed stringent laws requiring all cannabis edibles to be clearly labeled, not just their packaging. He also suggested that manufacturers should be prohibited from using packaging that mimics non-cannabis candy to prevent confusion. Additionally, Vitti advocated for funding to equip schools with detection systems for vape pens and cannabis, financed by the profits and taxes from cannabis sales.

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