Students hospitalized after eating drug-laced candy at Pinellas school

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Four students from a local high school were taken to All Children’s Hospital after eating drug-laced candy, Pinellas school officials confirmed Monday.

The incident happened at the Boca Ciega High School around noon on Monday. A student brought the drug-laced gummy candy to school and passed it around, according to the Pinellas County School District officials. Seven students ate the candy, and the four students were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The parents of those students have been notified.

School officials are working with the Gulfport Police Department as detectives investigate the incident.

Officials would not disclose whether the student who brought the candy to school knew it was laced with a drug. They also would not say whether the children who ate the candy knew it was laced. In addition, officials wouldn’t confirm the type of drug the candies were laced with.

A student told News Channel 8 her friend ate the candy. The student we talked with said she couldn’t believe what was happening when she saw her friend.

“She just ate it like a regular piece of candy and then started tripping out,” Rosie Santiago said. “She was dazing. She had her head down. She was kind of in a trance. You really couldn’t talk to her. She couldn’t really function well. She was just a real slow kind of. She was just losing her mind, honestly.”

Rosie’s mom said it’s surprising but says she’s learned to expect things like this. “Well, I had already taken her out one day because of a scare with guns and stuff.  Very scary,” Linda Santiago said about the temptation to take her daughter out of school.

Alonzo Favors, a junior at the school, also knows one of the students who ate the candy. Alonzo said the incident surprised him. “Oh yeah, the girl I know, she’s not like that.”

Alonzo said this could have been avoided. “Just watch what you eat,” he recommended.

Because of federal privacy laws, News Channel 8 is unable to tell you the conditions of the four students taken to the hospital.

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