BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Multiple students at North High School overdosed on opioids and were rushed to the hospital this week.
Parents and students told 17News they are worried about the kids safety.
So far, three students at North High confirmed to have overdosed while at school. Parents said there may be as many as a dozen.
Students at North High School refused to stay silent about what they say is the school’s opioid crisis.
Just this week, three students are confirmed to have overdosed on opioids, but that number may be much larger.
More than 100 students stormed out of North High in protest to the school not being accountable and owning up to the overdose incidents.
“North High threatened us,” Americas Owens, one of the students who was poisoned at North High School, said. “Like they pinpointed to us as students that it’s all our fault. A lot of the students feel like it isn’t a safe school for us.”
One parent of two children who were poisoned believes the school put her children’s lives at risk.
“The principal is in there trying to cover this all up saying that there’s nothing going on in the school and here it is the second day in a row that I’m having to pull my daughter and take her to the hospital because she’s having freaking reactions to the crap some kid gave her in there,” Sasha Owens the mother of Americas said.
North High Principal Mark Balch sent a voicemail to parents flipping the script from his statement on Thursday, which said nothing was wrong. Now he’s confirming opioids were used by students at the school this week.
Erin Briscoe from the Kern High School District said in a statement, “the district is continuing to investigate possible drug overdoses.”
Another mother said the school called her on Monday and said told her that her son was having a medical emergency.
“I walked into the office,” Jennifer Essex said. “The EMT told me we distributed Narcan twice and we have no reaction. That was the first thing that I was told. Whether it be fentanyl or not there is a problem here.”
Parents say the discharge papers from the emergency room listed the discharge diagnosis as opioid poisoning. The parents say they suspect the opioid was fentanyl and said doctors recommended they go to a lab to confirm.
A text message between one of the poisoned students and his friend explains what happened. The boy tells his friend he was poisoned by something that was laced. He said, it was candy and he vomited and passed out struggling to breathe.
At the North High student walkout, an argument broke out between the parents of the poisoned students and the parents of a student who’s rumored to be the one selling fentanyl at the school.
“Nobody knows what to do because the officials in charge are doing nothing,” Sherree Gilmour a mother of eight and family friend of Owens said. “Us as parents need to take a stand this is serious and if we don’t take a stand as a community and parents who’s going to? We need to be a voice for our kids before we lose them because they’re not helping.”
North High School principal Mike Balch is encouraging every parent to attend the special parent meeting on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7p.m. The topic of the meeting is drug abuse and fentanyl use.