MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - Outrage is growing among some parents after a Montgomery County elementary school student died on Monday.
"I can’t live without my son," the 5th grader’s mother is heard saying Spanish in a video posted to Facebook here:
School officials confirm child collapsed in front of classmates at Farmland Elementary School in Rockville on Monday morning. An MCPS spokesperson told FOX 5 they cleared the classroom of other students and staff immediately began trying to help the fifth-grader. They also called 911.
The county’s health department director says the emergency was not related to COVID-19. The school system told FOX 5 they could not confirm.
Dispatch radio traffic obtained by the site OpenMHZ indicates that the people on the scene said the child was vomiting before passing out. Nurses performed CPR.
Montgomery County Public Schools officials say first responders also administered emergency care, but the child was tragically later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Montgomery County residents have been questioning why services wouldn’t be available for the family, especially if they were residing in a shelter.
Department of Health and Human Services Director Dr. Raymond Crowel offered condolences, saying his office is equally heartbroken. He would not confirm which, but confirmed the mother and son were living in a Montgomery County shelter.
He thanked the staff and first responders for their quick response. He also said police and child welfare services will review this death as part of a Child Fatality Review Team investigation into what happened.
FOX 5 asked Dr. Crowel whether HHS "slipped-up" here.
"I think we have, we are always trying to get information out to people and get people into care wherever we can and let them know there are services available to them. I don’t’ know that’s a -- – there is always something that can be done in terms of getting that message out. Was there something that this could’ve been more? I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see what the report comes out a tells," he said.
MCPS confirmed that the fifth-grader had been in the system since kindergarten, and that he joined Farmland Elementary School this past April.
For those seeking assistance, Montgomery County has a Homeless Information Line: (240) 907-2688 with a list of outreach services available here.