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Students sickened at South LA middle school


Suspect ingestion of unknown substance

Three students at Johnnie L. Cochran Middle School in Arlington Heights were sickened earlier this week after possibly ingesting an unknown substance.

Paramedics went to the campus in the 4000 block of Johnnie Cochran Vista about 11:35 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).

Officers were sent to the scene on a “possible overdose” report, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to the LAFD, paramedics were tending to children who reportedly experienced an “altered level of consciousness after possible exposure or ingestion of a yet-unknown substance.”

The incident involved children about 13 or 14 years of age, according to reports from the scene. The LAFD reported only that three “school age” children were examined for possible medical problems.

“Following treatment by school staff and LAFD paramedics, all three have been transported to an area hospital by ambulance, where they arrived conscious and breathing in minor to moderate medical distress,” LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said in a statement.

“LAFD responders discovered no specific on-site hazard, and none of the many others on campus presented with any manner of medical complaint,” Humphrey said.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho issued a statement urging students to take advantage of the Los Angeles Schools Anonymous Reporting, or LASAR, app to report any suspicious activity on campus.

“Student safety is our top priority,” he said. “We remain hopeful for a full recovery of our students from Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Middle School who suffered from a medical incident earlier today. I urge everyone in our school community to download the LASAR app to anonymously report instances of suspicious activity, mental health incidents, drug consumption, drug trafficking, vandalism and other safety concerns.”