Cleveland MS students fall ill after taking pills

February 17, 2012 10:14:11 AM PST
Exactly two weeks after a community forum on drugs in schools, there's been another drug overdose at a Cleveland ISD school.

Police and paramedics had to be called to the Cleveland Middle School. Officials say two students took some kind of pill. One was transferred via ambulance to a local hospital and the other student's parent declined EMS transporting their child. Multiple students were questioned in the incident.

Cleveland resident Walter Williams wishes it was as easy to wash away his town's problems as it is his truck.

"I really feel bad for Cleveland, because Cleveland is a good town, really," he said.

Cleveland ISD says students got sick after taking "little white pills." It is unknown what the students ingested at this time but a pill was sent to a local lab for testing.

Just two weeks ago, ambulances were called to Cleveland High School, where 16 students felt the side effects of what turned out to the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam. Nine were taken to the hospital then. Four now face criminal charges for possession and dealing.

"I don't understand what the appeal is," resident Greg Hopcus said.

Two drug incidents in just two weeks is alarming, Hopcus said.

"I don't understand why they keep on doing this, like it's an epidemic," Hopcus said.

Williams believes the kids lack guidance at home and are just plain bored.

"There's nothing for the kids to get into right now, nothing to do," Williams said.

It's something we keep hearing over and over. Community leaders say they know it's an issue and they working to get kids involved.

The student who went to the hospital was released after two hours. All will likely be disciplined.

Authorities say they aren't sure what drug the students consumed, but they know who supplied that drug. That student was in custody Thursday.

Two weeks ago, just days after the incident at the high school, Cleveland leaders met with parents and students to discuss the drug problem in their community. An expert who was there says awareness is one of the best ways to prevent drug use.