Mom Arrested After Boy, 9, Brings Marijuana Gummies to School, Sickening 14 Children
An Ohio mom was arrested on child endangerment charges after her 9-year-old son brought marijuana-laced gummy bears from home to his elementary school, prompting alarm after 14 students who ate them became sick.
Cleveland police confirmed the arrest of the 27-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld by PEOPLE due to the nature of the charge against her.
The report of ill children brought officers and EMS workers to Anton Grdina School about 1:45 p.m. Monday. “Some of the students were complaining of upset stomachs but had no other signs of impairment,” a police report states.
“As a precaution today, we called EMS to examine several students to determine whether gummy bears shared with them by other students during lunch may have been marijuana-laced,” the school’s principal, Latosha Glass, said in a statement, reports News 5 Cleveland. “This precaution was taken because the packaging of the candy was not recognizable to us and appeared suspicious.”
The 9-year-old said his mom and aunt had thrown a party at their apartment on Sunday, where he said the gummies were given to him and other children by his aunt, who “had gotten drunk” and “was not in her right mind,” according to the police report.
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After the boy was told to go to bed, his mother allegedly put the gummies on a table and told him not to touch them. But another child urged the boy to follow his mother into the kitchen and say he loved her, so the second child could take them, according to the report.
The children carried the gummies in their book bags to school on Monday. A school staff member cleaning up a room later found a zip-lock bag printed with wording that indicated the contents contained drugs. An EMS worker reported recovering the bag still containing three gummy bears and a plastic bottle containing several gummy worms and gummy bears.
Staff members at the school reviewed video footage to identify kids who were present when the gummies allegedly were handed out.
Those taken by EMS workers to a hospital for evaluation included four 5-year-olds, three 6-year-olds, one 8-year-old and the 9-year-old. The parents of five other students declined the EMS transport.
Only one child, the 9-year-old boy who allegedly brought the gummies to school, initially tested positive at the hospital for the presence of THC, the chemical compound associated with a marijuana high.
Toxicology screening on other students is pending as the investigation continues, Cleveland police spokesman Jennifer Ciaccia tells PEOPLE.
Police questioned but did not arrest the aunt, according to the police report.
“Although most of our students were not involved in this incident … I am taking time to remind ALL parents and caregivers of the importance of keeping medicines and other items that may be harmful to children locked up,” the principal said in her statement. “Thank you for the opportunity to use the incident today as a teachable moment for our school community of our shared responsibility to keep our students safe.”