A Sierra High School student that became suddenly unresponsive in class on Monday morning – possibly from consuming something tainted with fentanyl – was revived by first responders before being transported to the hospital for further evaluation.
According to the Manteca Unified School District, the student was first tended to by the school resource officer that was on site before EMS personnel arrived on scene.
The student had regained consciousness before they were taken by ambulance to an area hospital for further treatment and observation.
It is not clear whether Narcan — a term used for a medicine known as Naloxone that rapidly reverses an overdose — was administered and if it was, who administered it.
All of Manteca Unified School District high school campuses have Narcan doses with staff trained how to use it.
The school board has also adopted guidelines covering how and who can administer medication to students including Narcan.
Because the incident occurred inside of a classroom, videos of emergency crews working to resuscitate the student began spreading on social media sites before lunch – prompting the district to issue a clarifying statement and dispel any rumors about the condition of the student.
“We understand that there is content circulating on social media documenting the incident,” the district said in a statement about what transpired. “We kindly request the community’s understanding as we prioritize the well-being and privacy of the student involved.
“We encourage everyone to rely on official information from the school district and relevant authorities to help prevent rumors from spreading.”
While the scene that played out at Sierra High School on Monday morning was jarring for students and staff and the wider community that reacted to raw information as it became available, it isn’t necessarily rare – occurring at campuses throughout not only California, but the United States as a whole.
With the proliferation of fentanyl in illicit drugs – often times presented like popular pharmaceutical drugs that are often diverted and abused – the number of overdoses has skyrocketed in young people that consume substances that they don’t know contain the hyper-powerful synthetic opiate.
The issue has become so extensive in San Joaquin County that District Attorney Ron Freitas has launched a “one pill can kill” media campaign to warn the public about the dangers of fentanyl, and has followed it up with community forums where health officials from San Joaquin County actually give those that attend naloxone kits – the chemical name of Narcan, which is given to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.
Due to student privacy laws, Manteca Unified was unable to provide any additional information about what transpired with the student, but did thank the timely response by emergency personnel while pledging to continue to provide support as necessary to the student and the wider student body that were affected by the incident.
“Manteca Unified School District is grateful for the swift response and collaboration of the School Resource Officer and local first responders,” the district wrote in its statement. “Our thoughts are with the student and their family during this time.
“We will continue to provide support as appropriate while respecting the privacy of those involved.”
To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.