Breaking News
More () »

Students get sick after taking a controlled substance, hazmat called to school

Further investigation reveals the four students became ill after ingesting a substance, and there were no sewer gas or any other hazmat involved.

WASHINGTON — Investigators say four students at McKinley Middle got sick and were taken to an area hospital after ingesting a controlled substance Monday afternoon.

According to DC Fire and Emergency Services (FEMS), the students were not exposed to sewer gas, a.k.a. hydrogen sulfide, as originally believed. Further investigation revealed that the students became ill after taking a controlled substance, and there was no sewer gas or any other hazmat involved. 

McKinley Middle School Principal Kortni Stafford sent a letter home to families in response to hazmat being called to the school.

At 2:48 p.m. on Monday, Stafford says a teacher and 19 students evacuated a science class because four students reported feeling unwell from the smell of an unknown chemical or substance. 

The four students who initially reported feeling sick were evaluated in the nurse's office while the other students and teacher relocated to a nearby classroom. FEMS was immediately called to investigate.

After canvassing the building, FEMS did not locate the smell. Upon further investigation, no substance or odor was detected. After evaluating the students, it was determined their symptoms aligned with the ingestion of a controlled substance. The students were then taken an area hospital for monitoring, and their families were contacted.

In her statement, Stafford adds that the building was not evacuated, and there was no hazardous material (HAZMAT) found at the building.

She says parents should speak with their children about the dangers of ingesting any unknown substances or foods, even if their friend offers it to them.    


Seven students were treated by DC Fire and EMS on the scene for apparent reactions to alleged drug consumption.

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Before You Leave, Check This Out