Three seventh-graders were transported to the hospital Thursday over a presumed fentanyl exposure at their school in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Hartford Police Department (HPD) and Fire Department arrived at the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy (SMSA) where they discovered a 13-year-old male “unconscious upon arrival,” Democratic Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced at a press conference Thursday. The mayor said the unconscious student remains in “grave condition.”
The student reportedly collapsed in gym class and was unresponsive, said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, according to CNN. A school nurse performed CPR on the student until the fire department and medics arrived, according to the Hartford Courant.
The 13-year-old, along with two other seventh graders, were transported to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for treatment, CNN reported. The other students reportedly felt dizzy, HPD spokesperson Lt. Aaron Boisvert, according to the outlet.
Bronin said an analysis confirmed the substance involved to be fentanyl, which is believed to have been brought to school property by the student. The mayor said the student in serious condition ingested fentanyl, but it is unknown whether the other two students used the drug.
“This is one more lesson that fentanyl is a poison, these drugs are a poison,” Bronin said. “And please, if you’re a parent, have that tough conversation with your child tonight.” (RELATED: 2-Year-Old Dies After Ingesting Fentanyl Allegedly Purchased Using Stimulus Check)
Bronin announced that the students were placed under a “code yellow,” a situation where students and staff are required to “stay in place” as authorities “did a safety sweep for the presence of additional narcotics.” Nearly 40 additional bags of fentanyl “packaged in what you would see in street-level sales” were discovered at the scene ” Boisvert said, according to the Hartford Courant.
Students and faculty had their shoes decontaminated in a solution of bleach and OxyClean to rid of any fentanyl traces, HPD Chief Jason Thody said at the conference.
Alison Giuliano, the SMSA’s principal, announced the school’s closure on Friday in a letter home to parents in order to conduct a thorough cleaning of school grounds, which is expected to extend for several days, according to CNN.
“Today was an extremely difficult and challenging day for our school,” Giuliano wrote. “However, I am very proud of all of our students and staff for their commitment to the safety of everyone on campus and for their patience while emergency services secured the building.”
The mayor said the investigation is ongoing and his “thoughts and prayers” go out to the family of the hospitalized student.