Principal of St. Luke Methodist Primary School details marijuana laced sweets ordeal
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- April 26, 2023
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Latest data out of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is that a total of 31 children and 7 adults were treated for marijuana intoxication after consuming the weed-laced gummies. According to the CEO at the hospital, Chandra Cansino, there was a total of thirty-one children, of which 29 were sent home yesterday while two were kept overnight for observation, and slated to be released today. The entire ordeal is unprecedented in Belize, and has no doubt made a mark on the victims. With the worst of it behind us, the principal at St. Luke’s Methodist School, Jacqueline Lynch was able to review the sequence of events that began unfolding just after midday on the school campus.
Jaqueline Lynch, Principal, St.Luke Methodist: “The students were placed in a room and there were several symptoms being displayed. One child was literally hallucinating. Some of them were drowsy while others just sat there feeling nauseous. One actually laid on the bench and was just shaking. At that time I called the vice principal and other teachers started just coming to the other student’s aid. I then went back to the standard six class asking the students ” I need you to tell me what you consumed. I need to see something.” And so it was then one girl fished out of her bag the two empty packets. I decided to open it up and smell and the first thing I smelled was marijuana. So I decided you know what I need to get some – I asked the vice principal “Miss kindly get some brown sugar and water put it in some containers mix it up and give the students to drink.” and it was then they started vomiting. The same student came back to me and said “Miss but a lady downstairs sold it to one of the wardens.” I went and I approached her and I went to the lady and said “Miss you were selling this to our students.” and she said “No Miss I only sold it to the warden and the warden gave it to her daughter and nephew.” For some reason I just decided to walk straight to one of the other shops outside and I asked the vendor “Sir I am trying to find out if you are selling something contained in this packet.” And so he fished it out of a box and I said “Sir are you selling our students this ?” and he said “No miss I won’t do that because it’s for adults.” But you’re selling it in front of our school. By that time all the teachers we decided to put them in a vehicle and take them to the hospital so we had three vehicles going and two staff with the vehicle. We also called parents and asked them if they could meet us at the hospital. After doing that I went back to one of the vendors and I said can I purchase one but I took a picture of it the first time and I asked him “Can I buy one.” He said “Miss I don’t have it.” Well of course he disposed of it. I then got a parent to purchase from the next vendor and so I asked the teachers to go around the classrooms and find out who consumed it and not to buy it and that’s when we had other students from standard two, three and four identified. So we had to call back the teacher at the KHMH and ask them to come back. So we had two trips at that time.”
According to Principal Lynch the Methodist circuit has joined the school to help the administration and students through counseling or any other means of support.
Jaqueline Lynch, Principal, St.Luke Methodist: “Our counsellor already indicated that she will take the time out to go to other classes and in a situation like that we have other counsellors who work along with the Methodist schools as well and so they would activate those other counsellors to help. I know for a fact we have RESTORE Belize have been working with our school because we’re a Trauma Informed Practice School and they have been helping and giving a lot of assistance. So I am going to reach out to Mr.Vega as well and to see how RESTORE Belize can really help us in this situation. To my knowledge last night at the hospital that doctors were encouraging them to stay home a couple days and then they could return back to school and I am also asking teachers to tell parents that to really observe their child and you know just keep abreast as to how they are behaving and if it’s something that they feel they cannot control then reach out for help.”