3 Teenagers Taken To Hospital After Presumed Fentanyl Exposure At Connecticut School

January 14, 2022

By: Sarah DiLuzio

A 13-year-old male is in grave condition after he overdosed at his Hartford, Connecticut school on Thursday from what authorities are calling an alleged fentanyl exposure. Two other male students who were involved were also taken to the hospital. 

All three 7th graders were transported to Connecticut Children’s for treatment and evaluation.

A statement from Hartford Police Department (HPD) says that they responded to the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy (SMSA) on Thursday morning. A male was unconscious and “upon arrival, CPR was being administered by responding Fire and EMS.” In addition, “evidence of narcotics was located in close proximity to the juvenile, which a later presumptive test revealed the presence of fentanyl”, HPD said.

Superintendent for Hartford Public Schools, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, said in a statement that the boy collapsed while in gym class. 

During a news conference on Thursday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the one student who remains hospitalized did ingest the drug, however, they “do not know for certain whether the other students ingested the fentanyl.”

Bronin added that he believes the drugs were brought to the school by a student. During a safety sweep of the school in search of additional narcotics, “there were multiple additional bags, of what we believe was fentanyl, found around the school.”

Students and faculty at SMSA had to have their shoes decontaminated to ensure that trace amounts of the presumed drug were not carried out of the school. Bronin added, “This is one more lesson that fentanyl is poison, these drugs are a poison. Please, if you are a parent, have that tough conversation with your child tonight.”

Principal Alison Giuliano said in a letter to parents that the school was closed on Friday so that a full cleaning of the campus could be done, which is expected to take several days. “Today was an extremely difficult and challenging day for our school”, Giuliano said. “However, I am very proud of all of our students and staff for their commitment to the safety of everyone on campus and for their patience while emergency services secured the building.”

Parents of SMSA will be notified on Monday, which is already a national holiday, when classes will resume. Support services are available to students who need them as well.