Twice in three weeks: Students distribute alcohol, drugs at local school

Posted at 5:37 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 18:17:20-04

LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — Krystle Morton says it was 8:30 a.m. Monday when her 11-year-old son Kamari was offered a piece of candy by another fifth grader at Grand River Academy in Livonia.

“He ate it and within a half hour, he was sick,” said Morton, who discovered her son was given a marijuana gummy and rushed to the emergency room after feeling disoriented and woozy.

"I was terrified. I don't even do those. I’m scared of them, so just to know that my little child, 11, has this in his system, it's very scary,” Morton said.

Three weeks earlier, a similar situation happened at the same school.

“They said my daughter had liquor,” said Dominique Zanders, who claims her child was one of four kindergartners at Grand River Academy who was given a shot of a Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix during lunch last month.

“If it's consistently happening at schools, then it's not OK. Something is wrong,” Zanders said.

A spokeswoman for Grand River Academy sent a statement:

“Since we have had two recent instances where children brought banned substances to school, we are taking a look at changes we may need to make to ensure this doesn’t happen again."

But it’s not just a problem in Livonia. Southfield police are also investigating an incident where several middle school students were given THC-laced edibles. And in Gennesee County, it was kindergarteners who ate candy not knowing it had marijuana in it.

So who should be held responsible? Parents or the school?

“Schools have a responsibility but should not be held at fault,” said Donna Thornton, a former principal in Detroit.

Thornton believes schools should be held accountable for following up with consequences but there is no way for an educator to know whether a cookie has cannabis in it or not.

Livonia police confirm child protective services has been contacted regarding the fifth grader who passed out the edible. Southfield police says they will be presenting charges to the Oakland County prosecutor Thursday morning.

In the Genesee County incident, a mother was charged with second-degree child abuse for her daughter distributing THC-laced gummy candies to her classmates.

A toxicologist with the Michigan Poison Drug Information Center confirms there has been an uptick in children ingesting edibles. Though often times it is not life threatening, it is dangerous.

Dr. Varun Vohra with the poison drug center says on average, a typical joint has 40 mg of THC, but an edible can have up to 400 mg.

If you child has ingested marijuana, call the Michigan Poison Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.