Students face charges after giving out prescription drugs at Utah middle school

Posted at 11:37 AM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 23:22:25-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah - The Jordan School District says several students got sick after children at a middle school passed out prescription pills, and police say some students will face charges.

The issue came to light at Joel P. Jensen Middle School in West Jordan Tuesday afternoon during classroom hours when a teacher noticed some students weren't acting like themselves.

“They didn't know what it was, but they said this was out of character for them,” said Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications for Jordan School District.

Before the final bell rang throughout the halls Tuesday afternoon, a teacher took five students aside.

“They knew immediately something was wrong,” Riesgraf said.

That's when West Jordan first responders were called. Prescription pills were the culprit behind the unusual behavior.

“Two kids had brought prescription drugs from their home and passed it out to their friends,” said Sgt. Joe Monson of the West Jordan Police Department.

Police said all of the kids will be OK, but it's something parents didn't expect to see at a middle school.

“It's concerning,” said Shawn Jessop, a parent of a middle school student.

Parents say they didn't think they would be having this conversation with their kids so soon.

“He saw the kids coming out of the bathroom not looking too well,” Jessop said.

Parents are grateful for how the school handled it, and that everyone is OK.

“I think kids learn too fast, too young, and I think their principal does a great job at keeping things under wraps, but I think parents need to be more aware of what is going on at home," Jessop said.

Police say the students will face charges for distribution of a controlled substance at the school.

“This is a wake-up call for everyone," Riesgraf said. "There is a lesson to be learned here that if you have prescription medication in your home, make sure it's secure."

Police would not specify what type of medication was handed out by the students. They did applaud the teacher for taking the time to care and act when something was wrong.

The Jordan School District sent Fox 13 this statement regarding the incident:

Dear Parents,

Due to a situation that occurred at the end of the school day on Tuesday, we want to share a safety reminder with our Joel P. Jensen community. Please remember to keep all prescription medication secure in your home or in your possession. When young people have access to any medication not prescribed to them, it can have serious health consequences. This was the case with four of our students yesterday. The students received immediate medical treatment thanks to quick action on the part of school staff, administration and first responders. Old prescription medication can be disposed of at the West Jordan Police Department at any time. Student safety is our top priority, thank you for your support.

Sandy Riesgraf
Director of Communications
Jordan School District