Cleveland High School was put on lockdown right after lunch when 16 students began showing signs of illness. Several ambulances were called to the school.
Cleveland resident Pockets Tollos said, "The first thing that I saw when I pulled up, they were bringing two kids out on ambulance stretchers. They looked coherent but I was a little bit away."
Nine students were taken to two area hospitals and at least five of them were released by nighttime. The other seven were checked out at the scene.
"They was all like flimsy and I heard they were even vomiting," said student Regeria Wilridge.
A letter from Cleveland HS Principal Allen Painter was sent home to parents explaining that the students were found under the influence of drugs.
"Campus administrators continue to investigate the incident and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against all students involved," Painter wrote.
Officials say the students consumed Lorazepam, a prescription drug that is typically used to treat anxiety.
Stunned parents say the news is troubling.
"We pulled up thinking that maybe the school flooded," said parent Tricia Ciaruffoli. "When we get here we hear 12 kids OD'ed. What are they doing with the schools these days? I don't know. I know when I went to school it wasn't like this."
School officials say at this time, it appears that four juveniles were involved in the distribution of the pills and they will be processed by the Cleveland ISD Police Department with possession or delivery of a controlled substance. All students involved will be held accountable for their actions either administratively and/or by law enforcement.