Atkinson police Chief Philip Consentino said the students who became ill had ingested the pot brownies in North Andover, prior to being bused to their prom at Atkinson Resort & Country Club.
“What happened was that before they got on a bus for the prom they were given some brownies that had marijuana in them and when they got here they got violently sick,” he said. The chief said he did not know if the students who became ill were the victims of a prank, or if they knew they were eating marijuana-laced brownies.
“If they were doing it to get high, I hope they learned a lesson and won’t do it again,” Consentino said.
North Andover School Superintendent Christopher Hottel issued a press release yesterday saying that an investigation by the school administration will continue tomorrow, and that North Andover police are investigating the incident as well.
Consentino said a rescue call was made to his department at 9:15 p.m., after school officials who were at the prom learned that a girl was in a bathroom throwing up.
“At least four kids were violently sick,” Consentino said. “The country club kicked the kids out and they were bused back to the school.”
Hottel confirmed that during the prom four students became sick, and that it was discovered they had ingested some brownies before leaving the high school “which contained what may have been pot.”
He said that as a precaution, paramedics were immediately called and three students were taken by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital. He said they were later released. He said 11 students were eventually interviewed at the prom as possibly having received brownies.
Hottel said the prom was ended an hour early at 10 p.m., as it was not known how many students might have ingested the brownies.
He said students were instructed to arrive at the high school between 5 and 5:40 p.m. Friday, and were then transported by bus with chaperones from the school to the Atkinson Resort & Country Club around 6 p.m. Principal Carla Scuzzarella, her two assistant principals and teacher chaperones were at the prom with the students, he said.
Consentino said three officers were also assigned to the prom.
Hottel said that after the prom was ended early, students were bused back to the high school. Because of the possible involvement of a controlled substance, he said Scuzzarella called North Andover police, who were waiting at the high school when the buses arrived. He said students were instructed to call their parents to pick them up.
“This was done since we did not want students driving who might be impaired,” he said. “As the parents arrived, both parents and students went to the auditorium and the principal explained to then what had occurred and why the prom was ended an hour early.”
Hottel said parents were grateful for the prompt and clear actions and explanations by school leaders.
Consentino said he can’t recall something like this having happened at past proms held in Atkinson.
“We’ve had some kids come in a little intoxicated, but the country club is right on top of things and checks kids at the door,” he said. “Once they are inside, they are not allowed to leave. And if they have to leave for any reason, their parents are called or school staff escort them to their cars. The officers watch everything very intently, and the country club makes sure any incidences are kept to a minimum.”
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