Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate
Jessica Cejnar
Del Norte Triplicate

Police are continuing to investigate an incident at Crescent Elk Middle School that sent eight students to Sutter Coast Hospital for evaluation of a possible overdose of medication.

Police Chief Ivan Minsal said when police, fire and ambulance personnel arrived at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, they initiated a triage to evaluate students.

Eight students, grades 7 and 8, were taken to the hospital for evaluation, but Minsal said no more is known about their condition. All parents were notified of the incident.

He said officers and hospital personnel are evaluating how the over-the-counter medication came into the school and what effects the medications may have.

“Hopefully, this is an isolated incident,” Minsal said. “The investigation will be ongoing and it may take a couple days to unravel.”

Though the incident is still under investigation, Del Norte County Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Harris said a staff member at Crescent Elk did see a student acting “oddly,” approached them and took them to the office. Through speaking with the student and continuing investigation, school officials found out more about the situation.

Harris said school officials have been told what they think the drug in question is, but nothing has been confirmed yet by law enforcement or the hospital.

Harris said he didn’t know if the students showed any symptoms of an overdose.

“Because the investigation is still ongoing and they were still working this afternoon and are going to be working tomorrow, (we) have not been debriefed on the chain of events yet,” Harris said. “Today was really about getting as much information as we could and making sure that every student who ingested any of the medication was safe. That they were treated if necessary and that parents were notified.”

Minsal said such an incident is new to many who worked on it, but police, fire, ambulance and school personnel worked together well to handle it.

“As we know more, we’ll share more,” he said, noting that school remains in session Tuesday.

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