Hartford schools

Conn. School Closed Friday After Teen Overdoses on Fentanyl

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The Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford is closed Friday after a 13-year-old student suffered an overdose and is in grave condition at the hospital, according to Mayor Luke Bronin.

Police believe the student overdosed on fentanyl. The student remains hospitalized Friday, school officials said.

School will be closed and all classes will be canceled Friday. A remote learning option is not an option, Guiliano said. It's not yet clear if school will reopen Tuesday.

"[Thursday] was an extremely difficult and challenging day for our school. However, I am very proud of all our students and staff for their commitment to the safety of everyone on campus and for their patience while emergency services secured the building," Principal Alison Giuliano said in a statement.

The superintendent, district administration, Hartford Police, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and other agencies are conducting an investigation and will be searching the building.

Guiliano said a systematic search was performed to make sure any remaining material was removed from the school following dismissal. Now, agencies will be conducting testing and a full cleaning of campus before the building is reopened. This process is expected to take several days.

Two other seventh graders may have ingested the drug as well, Bronin said. Those two students were taken to the hospital as a precaution. They have since been released, school officials said.

A teacher was also taken to the hospital after suffering a panic attack, according to the school superintendent.

Police said officers responded to the school at 280 Huyshop Ave. around 10:45 a.m. Thursday after getting a report of an unconscious child.

EMS was performing CPR when officers arrived and the child was brought to Connecticut Children’s after a possible overdose.

Authorities found a powder-like substance in the gym, according to police. The substance has initially been identified as fentanyl, Bronin said.

A soft lockdown was issued and drug-sniffing dogs were brought in.

Multiple bags of the drug was found around the school, police said.

Students had to remain in place for several hours as police investigated the incident.

Everyone in the building had to walk through a solution of bleach and OxyClean to decontaminate their shoes before leaving Thursday afternoon.

The school will be providing support services to students, families and school personnel. There will be in-person and virtual services available.

"This tragic incident will raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our students," Guiliano said.

The Sport and Medical Sciences Academy is a magnet school attended by students from Hartford and surrounding towns.

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