10 students suffer suspected overdoses at Van Nuys Middle School

LAUSD is sitting on a ticking time bomb as they bounce back from yet another drug incident.

By Zachary Skolnick, Staff Writer

Over 50 firefighters and police officers were deployed to the scene at Van Nuys Middle school on Thursday morning.

According to the LAFD press release, 10 students, between the ages of 12 to 15 years old, suffered severe medical emergencies. The department staff on scene found no trace of the drug, fentanyl involved. Rather, students suffered marijuana edible-related effects. 

As the news slowly leaked out to major outlets in Los Angeles, students at Van Nuys High School started to spread the word. 

With this being the second major drug-related incident in LAUSD within this school year, The efficacy of LAUSD’s recent programs due to the fentanyl overdoses has been questionable.

When 15-year-old Melanie Ramos, a student at Bernstein High School in LAUSD, died due to a drug overdose of fentanyl, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced new programs to address drug issues in our schools. 

The main programs were peer-to-peer counseling to educate students on the risks and dangers of drugs and to provide all schools with the opioid-counteracting drug Narcan. 

Van Nuys High School has since received Narcan. It can be found in the health office if needed.

“It is already available. We got it last month. They are still developing how we should use it at school in case of emergencies.” said the school Nurse, Ms. Angelita Dizon. “We have 8 Narcan’s here in the office, 4 boxes with 2 in each.” 

Since the initial reports of the fentanyl overdose, there has not been any advertising of peer-to-peer counseling in our school. When this part of the program will be rolled out is unknown. 

Suppose the district had placed counseling into effect sooner, Thursday’s events could have been avoided. 

“Only three people were drugged in my class,” Christopher Angel, a 7th-grade student at Van Nuys Middle School told the LA Times. “I heard they ate edibles and saw them in my science class. They were acting weird, tired, high.”

Of the 10 students, seven were transported to pediatric hospitals in the area. The other three were released to their parents at the scene. Along with fire crews, Los Angeles School Police searched the middle school for any unaccounted victims and found none.