Van Nuys Middle School students stricken; fentanyl ruled out

Ten students with “medical conditions” were reported Thursday at Van Nuys Middle School, seven of whom were taken to hospitals, Los Angeles fire officials said.

The incident was reported at around 10:30am at the school in Block 5000 of Vesper Lane.

An LA Fire Department official said 10 students, ages 12 to 14, were being evaluated for suspected overdoses and were in “mild to moderate distress.” Seven were taken to local hospitals and three were released at the scene.

Dozens of firefighters and police searched the school to make sure no students were missing.

Police officers advise outside Van Nuys Middle School

Police officers consult outside Van Nuys Middle School, where 10 students were being treated for possible overdoses of an unknown substance.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

“Crews on site confirmed that this is NOT related to fentanyl. Details of the medical condition and any substances used are being completed by hospital staff,” the fire department said in a statement.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District said the campus has remained “safe and open for instruction.”

“Today we were made aware of a group of students who suffered a medical incident at Van Nuys Middle School,” the spokesman said in the statement. “As a precaution, we have requested medical assistance.”

LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said the students may have ingested “edibles” but added the investigation is ongoing.

“It wasn’t opioids; we didn’t have to administer Narcan,” Scott said outside of school.

Emergency officials were preparing for a mass casualty event when they arrived as officials located several other sick students. Officials searched the campus for more patients but found none.

Concerned parents are waiting to pick up their children, where at least eight students are from Van Nuys Middle School.

Concerned parents are waiting to pick up their children, where at least eight students are from Van Nuys Middle School.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

As of 1:00 p.m. Thursday, fire engines and other emergency vehicles were still at the school, and student voices could be heard around campus.

A parent, who asked not to be identified, said he had spoken to his 12-year-old daughter and she was not concerned.

The parent had received an email regarding the situation and told them their child would be staying at school for the rest of the day.

But some parents still wanted to bring their children home.

Several parents handed blue receipts and their photo IDs to school officials at a side gate. School ends at 3 p.m

School officials scrolled through a laptop on a coffee table to find the student.

Christopher Angel, a 12-year-old seventh grader, walked out with his mother, Angela Valle.

“Only three people in my class were drugged,” he said.

Angel said he heard the students eat edibles and saw them in his science class.

“They were acting weird, tired, high,” he said.

School officials repeatedly told parents that their children were safe.

The majority of the students at Van Nuys Middle School remained in school

The majority of students at Van Nuys Middle School stayed at school after 10 students were treated for possible overdoses of an unknown substance.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

“Your children are doing well in the classroom,” said a school official while handing out blue slips.

Karla Rivera waited in front of the school for about an hour before the students would be let out.

She said she was not immediately notified of the medical emergency by the school. She said her 12-year-old son called her.

“He told me something happened,” Rivera said. “He thought it was someone trying to break into the school.”

An hour later, Rivera said she received an automated call from the school informing her of the medical emergency.

“I immediately thought of fentanyl,” Rivera said. “The school has done a very poor job of communicating what’s going on.”

Howard Blume, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-01/multiple-patients-with-medical-complaints-reported-at-van-nuys-middle-school Van Nuys Middle School students stricken; fentanyl ruled out

Alley Einstein

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