3 Montgomery County elementary school students hospitalized after ingesting controlled substance

Authorities in Montgomery County say three Rockville elementary school students were hospitalized after they allegedly ingested controlled substances.

Police say they responded to College Gardens Elementary School in the 1700 block of Yale Place Monday after the three students became sick.

Detectives believe the students found a container of blue items they believed to be candy. The students, all 7-years-old, ingested the items and then spit them out.

Officers say the children started to feel dizzy, and all went to the school nurse who called 911. The students were transported to local hospitals as a precaution.

None of the items were recovered, and detectives say they are unsure of exactly what the students consumed. Based on the toxicology tests of some of the victims, investigators believe that they have ingested a methamphetamine-related drug, such as Adderall or MDMA (ecstasy or Molly).

"I am relieved that the students will ultimately be fine, but in many ways, what happened today is frightening," said Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones. "I hope that it serves as a powerful motivator for parents to keep having the difficult conversations with their children about the dangers of taking or eating unknown substances."

All of the students have been discharged from the hospital and are home with their parents.

Children's National Pediatric Hospitalist Dr. Gabrina Dixon told FOX 5 they are seeing these types of incidents frequently, especially with children accidentally consuming edibles.

"I think it’s because it looks so similar to regular candy and kids don’t know. And you know, a lot of places, you know, we have legalized marijuana in a lot of states," Dr. Dixon said. "When you do legalize marijuana, it can become more accessible -- and when it becomes more accessible, a lot of the edibles looks like regular candy and kids don’t know."

Police are concerned both edibles and illicit drugs are being made to look like candy more and more. 

"You just have conversations about how are you storing these products making sure kids don’t have access, especially because it looks like regular candy," Dr. Dixon said.

"It’s a little surprising for this to happen at an elementary school, even though we hear a lot of these things across the country, right? And um, very disappointing and disheartening because I have him, like I said, try to raise him well and not run into anything like that," said College Gardens Parent Anthony Wilson, who loves the school and felt bad for the families involved in this incident. "I didn’t think I’d have to start this young, but it just hits right at home. Right at the school."