Students hospitalized after using vape pen at Riverside school

RIVERSIDE — Two students at Mad River Middle School were taken to the hospital after using a vape pen on campus Thursday, according to Riverside police.

Police and medics were called to the school after it was reported that a student had become sick from using a vape pen, according to Riverside Police Major Angela Jackson.

“They didn’t know if it had been laced, or just a bad reaction to it,” Jackson said.

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In a 911 call obtained by News Center 7, the caller tells dispatchers that the student was “extremely ill.”

“He has smoked something and we do not know what,” the caller said. “He is vomiting, he is lethargic― The nurse said that she’s hoping they have Narcan when they get here.”

Jackson says it is difficult to determine why the student became sick after using the vape pen.

“You don’t really know where it’s came from, so it could have been passed from hand to hand and something put in it,” Jackson said. “Everybody’s body reacts different to it.”

Police previously told News Center 7 that one student was taken to the hospital, but Jackson said two students were taken to Children’s Hospital who admitted to using the device.

“There were three other students that were named, but there was no medical attention that needed to be given to them,” Jackson said.

The two children who went to the hospital have since been released and are home, Jackson said.

Police are currently looking into the incident as a suspected unintentional overdose, according to a spokesperson for the police department.

Hospital blood work and BCI lab work will determine what exactly the students ingested, the spokesperson said.

“As with many school districts in and around the country, our district is not immune to seeing cases of vaping and dabbing in schools. As a district we have spoken with students, sent letters to parents with resources, and also installed HALO monitors in bathrooms to help combat the problem,” a spokesperson for Mad River Local Schools said in a statement. “As always, the health and safety of our students are our top priority, and partnering with parents and guardians is the best way to help students make positive decisions.”

The spokesperson says the district “strongly encourage parents to have a conversation with their children about the dangers of e-cigarettes and dab pens.”

News Center 7 is working to learn more and we will continue updating this story.