Gummy bears make students sick in Naperville

After eating gummy bears that may have been tainted with another substance, more than a dozen students at Naperville North High School in Chicago’s far-western suburbs fell ill and were taken to Edward Hospital, the Naperville Sun reports.

Students reportedly ate the gummy bears between periods, but it wasn’t clear if they knew the gummy bears may have been tainted. The school reported on its website that students felt “both uncomfortable and sick” after eating the candy.

At a news conference this afternoon, Naperville police said a 17-year-old student from the school was in custody but has, so far, not been charged with a crime in connection with the incident. The composition of the gummy bears remains under investigation, pending the results of further chemical testing.

WLS-TV (ABC affiliate) noted that the gummy bears may have been laced with a “liquid-based marijuana substance,” but no conclusive results have been released at this time.

The 13 students became ill and were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. As of Tuesday evening, two students remained hospitalized in stable condition and were undergoing evaluation, while 11 were treated in the emergency room and released. Their symptoms included a rapid heart rate, dizziness, and dry mouth.

“We encourage all parents to have conversations with their children about making healthy choices,” District 203 wrote. “Our community is fortunate to have a number of resources available through school and other community partners to support the wellbeing of students.”

Naperville North High School serves about 2,825 students, down a little more than 10 percent from its enrollment five years ago. Only about 3 percent of the students are English language learners, and only about 15 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Both of those numbers are well below state averages.

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Paul Katula
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