‘It’s a bit of a shock to me,’ Some parents didn’t learn about drug-laced candy until pickup time at Rocky

Local News

Administrators say one student was passing out THC-laced gummy bears

Update: A Rock Island High School spokesperson is clarifying the administration’s response after a student passed out drug-laced gummy bears to others.

Holly Sparkman says they notified parents of students directly affected, but not all parents:

“…We notified the parents of the students who felt ill. We did not notify all parents at Rock Island High School.

In school-wide emergency situations (fire, etc) we would use our robo-call system to alert parents, but as this was an isolated incident there was no need to alert the parents.” 


Earlier story:

Some Rock Island High School parents are upset tonight after learning that drug-laced gummy bears wound up in the hands of students.

It happened this morning.

Administrators tell Local 4 News that a student passed out the candy before school started.

It contained THC.

That’s the active ingredient in marijuana.

They say a few students started feeling nauseous in the afternoon and went to the school nurse.

Rock Island High School officials tell us this was an isolated incident and that parents were notified right away.

But some we spoke with didn’t know about the situation until we told them, which they say is also concerning.

“It’s a bit of a shock to me,” says Jeff Barnes, who has a freshman at Rocky.

He says he didn’t get any alerts from his son’s school after a student passed out drug-laced gummy bears to peers.

“Actually I was just sitting here now and I was looking on my phone through Facebook and somebody had posted it on there, which kind of threw me off. I didn’t know whether to believe it or not,” Barnes says.

Barnes isn’t alone.

Laurie Lyon also has a freshman at the high school.

“I didn’t hear anything about it,” she says.

“Maybe I do have a phone call on my landline but other than that, I think we needed to be informed,” Lyon says.

Grandparent Terry Clausen says it’s another conversation parents now need to have with their kids.

“I think that they should be aware that things like that happen and have a conversation with their kids and warn them, at least,” Clausen says.

Barnes says he also wants to see school officials take action.

“I think the person that did pass them around and cause these kids to get sick, I think that there should be some consequences with that,” he says.

He wants them to make sure nothing like this happens again.

“I shouldn’t have to be at work and have to worry about my son, you know, if he’s going to eat gummy bears laced with drugs,” Barnes says.

“No parent should have to worry about their child when it comes to something as stupid as that, to be honest with you,” he says.

Rocky administrators say no one became seriously sick from eating the gummy bears.

They also wouldn’t tell us how many kids were affected but say the school resource officer is investigating the incident.

Here is Rock Island High School spokesperson Jenna Panicucci’s entire statement to Local 4 News:

A Student passed out gummy bears laced with THC before school started. Later in the day a few students began experiencing mild effects. Staff immediately took students to the nurses office to be taken care of. Students reported feeling nauseated but no one became seriously ill. Parents were notified by the school right away. This was an isolated incidence and the school resource officer is investigating the incident.” 

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