Last month, at least seven students at Orange Park, Florida’s Oakleaf Junior High School left class after accidentally consuming cannabis. Now, with few answers given as to why the 13-year-old teens were exposed to cannabis in their first period classroom, at least four parents have joined together to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against the school district to get to the bottom of the situation.
"A bunch of children were essentially poisoned," lawyer John Phillips told ABC’s First Coast News. “They were involuntarily given THC and we are investigating that."
The situation occurred in early February, when a first period language arts class participated in a Holocaust rememberence lesson that involved a loaf of Challah bread that another student had brought from home. But shortly after the middle schoolers broke bread, a number of classmates began reporting strange, sick feelings. Multiple students called their parents to leave school early.
"She called me and said 'I feel like I am dying, I feel the food was poisoned,’” local parent Shelly McFadden told First Coast News. "When I looked at her when she finally came to me, I just knew with her bloodshot eyes and she was kind of out of it."
McFadden said that she took her daughter to a doctor, where it was confirmed that she had THC in her system. Likewise, at least six other students tested positive for THC after the first period incident. For their part, school district officials said that police were called to investigate the cannabis Challah case when it happened, but that after a week of inquiry and interviews, local cops could not “establish a causal relationship between the food and the alleged illness.”
For some parents, that answer was not enough. And while it is not quite clear what kind of results or compensation the litigious parents are looking for, lawyer John Phillips said that the point of the case is to simply find out what really happened in that first period class.
"Again, they didn't know," Philips said of district officials. "It was a mistake; policies were broken, but that's where accountability needs to be had."
As of press time, the lawsuit against the Clay County School District had not yet been officially filed.
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