HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – A 13-year-old Hartford boy has died after an overdose of fentanyl at the Academy of Health and Sports Sciences.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin stated the following:
Our city mourns for this lost child, for his loved ones, his friends, his teachers and the entire SMSA family. We still have a lot to learn about the circumstances of this tragedy, and how one child had access to such a terrifying amount of deadly drugs, and our police have recorded it. receive. will continue to investigate and seek to hold the adults ultimately responsible for this child’s death. In the meantime, our prayers go out to everyone touched by this loss and we will do everything we can to support the SMSA community.
On Thursday, around 10:45 a.m., three 7th graders were taken to the hospital after being exposed to fentanyl at school.
The Academy of Health and Sports Sciences is a specialized school in Hartford, with approximately 600 students.
One of the students, a 13-year-old boy, was unconscious.
Mario Oquendo Jr., public information officer, Hartford Fire Department, said: “Initial reports indicate that CPR performed by the school nurse on a student and HFD staff received CPR until the response was calmed down by the doctors.” “Rhythm has returned for that student and CPR has been stopped.”
It is believed that the student was in a classroom and then went to the gym.
All three students were transported to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
The 13-year-old 7th grader is in serious condition after officials say he has taken and overdosed on fentanyl.
Two other students, also 7th graders, only complained of dizziness after being exposed to fentanyl and are being monitored at the hospital.
Family members have been notified.
Officials initially said a teacher was also transported to Hartford Hospital, but later said she was “deeply saddened by what she witnessed” and was being treated at the school.
The school is set in a votive color. That means the student must remain in place.
Drug-sniffing dogs passed through the building and additional bags of fentanyl were found in two classrooms and the gym.
Police believe a student brought drugs to school. Investigators are still trying to find out if two other students ingested fentanyl.
Mayor Luke Bronin had a strong message for parents.
“Here’s another lesson that fentanyl is a poison, these drugs are a poison. If you’re a parent, have a rough talk with your child tonight. they think it’s a drug, they don’t know what it is, don’t do it, stay a mile away, and for God’s sake, report it so we can try to protect your kids, their friends, everything,” Bronin said.
Students and staff were fired after their shoes were decontaminated with bleach and other chemicals.
Since police still don’t know for sure what else is in the drug, they have to treat it as a worst-case scenario.
“I’m so shocked at what’s happening. I just don’t understand how the fentanyl gets to the schools so it’s heartbreaking to hear they’ve been in contact with it,” one parent said.
The CDC says some fentanyls are approved to treat pain, while others are manufactured illegally. All types are known to be abused and lead to death.
In Connecticut, data shows that the number of deaths from drug use has skyrocketed.
Between January and November 2021, more than 1,200 people died.
“When that starts happening with kids, it’s not good for the business, so you’ll see attempts to overreact, which you don’t like to say, but there’s something bad about it. happened that caused people to get their heads out of the sand,” said Mark Jenkins, executive director of the Connecticut Harm Reduction Coalition.
Mark addresses overdoses on a daily basis and says people are afraid to talk about help out there, like Narcan, a drug that can quickly reverse opioid overdoses, which Jenkins says should be in school. study and may have been used by seventh graders. .
“It fell off. It just went into your hand like that, into your nose and pushed it, so now I just take a dose of this. I’m not going to fall. I tell people, ‘Why am I? Doing so “Are you an idiot?”, is to show you are not harmful, not to blame”, Jenkins added.
Jenkins says state and local officials need to address overdoses, because it’s not just an urban problem.
Jenkins says you should contact his organization if you want training or learn about overdose prevention.
Police are currently looking for the person who brought the drug to the school. No arrests have been made.
State and local officials were on the scene for several hours and they are still checking to see if there is anything else in the fentanyl.
In a letter to families, Principal Alison Giuliano said that all classes at SMSA are canceled and schools will be closed on Friday.
Dr Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, the director of Hartford Public Schools, released a statement on Sunday:
It is with profound sadness that I informed all the families, staff and partners of Hartford Public Schools on Saturday night that our students from the Sports and Health Sciences Academy (SMSA) , who was in serious condition at Connecticut Children’s Hospital, has passed away. I open my heart and extend my deepest condolences to the student’s family, friends and loved ones for his loss. I ask everyone to keep their families, friends and the entire school community at SMSA in their thoughts and prayers.
This tragic loss will raise a lot of emotions, anxiety and questions for our school community, especially your students. Our district’s Crisis Intervention Team has been assembled and will continue to assist with the needs of students, parents, and school staff.
Our School Social Workers work Sundays and Mondays for students, families and staff both in person and virtual. Clinical Psychologists from Connecticut Children’s Hospital will also be on call for students, families, and staff on Sundays and Mondays to support their mental health.
Today, I sent a message to all of our families to provide additional resources to help support their children through grief and loss. The message includes a number of ways parents and guardians can initiate these difficult conversations with their children, as well as responses to questions that may arise over the next few weeks and months.
As a community, we will continue to provide additional care and support to students, families, and staff who need it. Once again, I ask everyone to keep your family, friends and entire school community heard from you as we support each other through this incredible tragedy,
Mobile Mental Crisis Services are available to students. SMSA community members can reach them by calling 211.
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