The Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford, Connecticut, was put under lockdown on Thursday for investigation after Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, state police and Hartford police arrived at the scene.
Drug-sniffing dogs deployed across the school found multiple bags of what preliminary analysis said was fentanyl.
A 13-year-old seventh grader was said to be in “grave condition” in hospital after he collapsed and was found unconscious inside a gymnasium.
He had suffered an overdose of fentanyl, police said according to initial findings.
CPR was being performed on the teenager after officers reached the school.
Two other seventh-grade students were hospitalised and are being kept under observation after they were believed to have been exposed to the powder-like substance.
They were in the same classroom as the other teen.
“It is believed that the student ingested something in the classroom,” Hartford public Schools superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez told reporters.
Hartford mayor Luke Bronin said: “Our entire community is praying for this child in the hospital and for his family. And again [I] make an ask of every parent to talk with your kids and make sure they know how serious and how dangerous any unknown substance can be and any drug can be.”
“Please have that conversation tonight. We’re talking about seventh graders. It’s never too early to have that conversation,” he said.
A teacher also suffered a panic attack during the incident and was rushed to the hospital.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that can cause respiratory distress and eventually death if an antidote is not given immediately.
Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the DEA.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in