DC students hospitalized after consuming cocaine

AP News
Posted: Mar 17, 2011 8:37 PM

Four elementary school students either sniffed or swallowed cocaine brought to school by a classmate Thursday, district officials said, but they were fine aside from sore throats.

The students at Thomson Elementary School were taken to a hospital after consuming an unknown quantity of cocaine, district spokesman Fred Lewis said. A fifth student who recently had surgery was also taken to the hospital as a precaution.

D.C. fire spokesman Pete Piringer said the students did not have symptoms aside from sore throats.

The student who brought the cocaine to school, believed to be a fourth-grader, was charged with drug possession. The case is being referred to the D.C. attorney general's office, which handles juvenile crime.

A letter to parents Thursday from principal Albert DuPont said Child Protective Services and the police department were investigating how the student got the cocaine. Counselors were expected at school Monday to discuss the dangers of drugs. Friday is a professional development day.

"This is not a situation that is typical at Thomson, and we take it very seriously," DuPont wrote. "At school we will address drug awareness as a whole-school issue."

Stuart Hovell, whose fourth-grade daughter attends the school but is not in the same class as the child who brought the cocaine, said the incident was disgusting and had reaffirmed his decision to send the child to another school next year.

"It's sad. It's very sad that this is getting into schools," said Hovell, a 45-year-old shop owner.