More than 2 dozen middle school students taken to hospitals after eating Valentine's candy

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — More than two dozen students were sickened after eating Valentine's Day candy at a South Fulton middle school Thursday, officials said.

School officials initially told Channel 2 Action News that 21 students at Sandtown Middle School on Campbellton Road reported feeling ill after eating snacks and candy. That number has rose to 28.

Officials said the students reported feeling nauseated and disoriented after eating the snacks.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said Friday that all of the children had been treated and released.

All 26 students were taken by paramedics to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding and Egleston, where they are still being treated.

School officials said no teachers got sick, only students.


Channel 2's Dave Huddleston and Nicole Carr were at the scene Thursday afternoon as ambulances continued to arrive throughout the afternoon.

Huddleston talked to one student about what happened to her classmates.

"It was scary, because my first thought was that it could happen to me," she said.

Huddleston also talked to a parent who rushed to the school to pick up her daughter.

"The school sent out some sort of alert saying the kids ate some type of snack," she said.

NewsChopper 2 was also over the scene when at least one more student was taken by stretcher to an ambulance.

The spokesman for Fulton County Schools confirms that samples of the candy and snacks are being sent to a lab.

Huddleston was there when City of South Fulton Councilwoman Catherine Rowell arrived to check on her daughter.

"Our first priority is to make sure they are safe, and that sounds like what's happening," Rowell said. "Everyone has jumped in and responded appropriately."

Officials said students were told not to eat anything given to them by any other students until they could determine what was making them sick.

Channel 2's Matt Johnson spoke to a parent outside of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. She said her child ate one of the snacks and doctors told her they can't say for sure what was in them while tests are being done.

"It's scary because some children don't know not to take things from other people," she said.

The Fulton County Schools police chief says they are still trying to determine whether there was intent to harm the kids or if drugs were involved.

School officials initially said the school was evacuated Thursday afternoon due to the emergency, but later retracted that statement.

Sandtown Middle School evacuated

BREAKING UPDATE: South Fulton mayor told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston about 20 children from Sandtown Middle School sick from Valentine’s Day candy. All of the children were taken to nearby hospitals: (LIVE UPDATES:

Posted by WSB-TV on Thursday, February 14, 2019