Nacogdoches ISD and city police are investigating a case involving a Fredonia Elementary fifth-grader who brought a controlled substance to school Thursday and passed it out to other youngsters.
“Some 11-year-old kid was passing it around and telling them it was candy,” said Fabian Rodriguez, whose younger brother ended up in the emergency room Thursday afternoon after ingesting what he thought was rock candy. “He spit it out and said it was nasty. The nurse said he had an elevated heart rate, his mouth was numb and his pupils were dilated.”
NISD officials have not said what the substance was. The symptoms Rodriguez described are typically associated with the use of crack cocaine and some types of amphetamines. Both controlled substances can resemble rock candy.
The drug resembled a piece of candy coated with sugar and was passed out to the boy and three other children, his mother, Carmen Zarte-Gonzalez, said.
“He’s only 10 years old. If it’s getting to these children, what are we expecting? These are not kids that grew up in the street. We care for our children. Be aware of what’s over there,” she said.
The 10-year-old appeared to be OK Thursday afternoon, and was being treated in a local emergency room, his mother said.
“He’s awake and alert. The only thing is the numbness of the mouth,” she said.
Rodriguez said he wants other families to be aware of what happened and warn their students about taking any substances from anyone, even if it looks like candy.
“I went to that school as a kid, and little kids have been having things like that at school forever,” said Rodriguez, an NISD graduate. “You see more as a kid than the teachers do.”
NISD spokesman Les Linebarger confirmed that a student brought a controlled substance to the campus and appears to have shared it with other students. A letter to all Fredonia Elementary parents was sent home on Thursday.
“Needless to say, it’s a regrettable incident,” Principal Melinda Wiebold wrote in the letter. “As always, providing our students and staff at Fredonia a secure learning and working environment is of overriding importance and influences all decisions we make. Actions taken today were part of an effort to protect the safety of students attending Fredonia Elementary.”
Zarte-Gonzalez said she hoped the incident would cause the school district to put in surveillance and monitor students more closely.