Several students sickened after eating candy at middle school

Several students sickened after eating candy at middle school

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — Several middle school students in Butts County got sick after eating candy at school Friday, officials said.

The incident happened at Henderson Middle School.

Several students went to the school nurse saying they felt sick after eating the candy. One student was taken to the hospital "out of an abundance of caution."

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Officials said all of the other students are stable and didn't need to be taken to a hospital.

Officials initially said they believed the candy was tainted with THC, but have since said that it did not show any evidence of THC or narcotics. Instead, officials now believe it was contaminated with some kind of food-borne illness.

The Butt's County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Friday that the candy was picked up at a food bank in Hampton.

The Sheriff's Office released photos of the candy, which they said looks "like a Fruity Pebble with a hard texture."

Channel 2's Richard Elliot was the first reporter at the scene as EMTs, police officers and firefighters were still monitoring students on campus.

Elliot talked to one student, who said some kids were 'unconscious' after eating the candy.

"The one girl who got sick, she like almost, she passed out and like, she didn't know what was going on," 6th-grader Cereza Palacios said. "It just made her blank. "

Palacious said she didn't take any because the bag looked suspicious.

Stephanie Fish's two children and cousin go to the middle school. She rushed over when she got the call.

"It was super scary," Fish said. "It makes me want to do home school.

Fish is the guardian of Latangia Fears, a sixth-grader. Fears told Elliot that she saw other kids start to feel sick too.

"It looked like they just started coughing, and then they became unconscious and choking and stuff," Fears said. "They had headaches. I'm not sure what all went on."


Parents who reached out to Channel 2 Action News said they were informed about the incident through a robocall. ​​​​

The Butts County Sheriff's Department released a statement earlier Friday on its Facebook page.

"The administration of Henderson Middle School was alerted to a situation where several students ingested an unknown substance that caused them to become ill. The parents of all students who were affected have been contacted. The safety and security of our students is of the utmost importance. We are working diligently alongside our public safety partners to collect the substance and provide treatment to students who were affected."

The sheriff said there was "no wrongdoing on any child involved" and that the child who passed out the candy didn't do anything wrong.

Officials discouraged parents from bringing food or drink on campus without prior approval.