Officials sent candy to crime lab for testing.
PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The number of students who had adverse reactions after eating candy brought to Perry High School on Wednesday morning grew to 18 by the end of the school day.
Six of the students were taken to Canton hospitals, said Police Chief Michael Pomesky, while other students were being checked. Emergency crews from Perry and Jackson townships and the city of Massillon were called to the school when students became ill with accelerated heart rates and dilated pupils after eating the candy. A few experienced high blood-pressure levels.
Deputy Chief of Operations Larry Sedlock said four students were transported to Aultman Hospital and two were taken to Mercy Medical Center.
By 1:30 p.m., medics had cleared the school, Sedlock said.
Pomesky said the candy was being sent to the Stark County Crime Lab for testing to determine if it was laced with any substance. He did not identify the type of candy.
Students who were not transported to hospitals by emergency crews were given the option for a parent or legal guardian to take them for medical treatment. Many of the parents were taking their child to a hospital, Sedlock said. Others allowed their children to return to class.
Assistant superintendent Nathan Stutz said in a prepared statement the school is working closely with authorities to investigate and determine if the candy had been tampered with. Once the investigation is complete, Stutz said, the appropriate disciplinary and legal action will be taken if necessary.
“The well-being of our students is our top priority, and we take all situations that may impact their safety very seriously,” he said.
Samantha Ickes is a reporter for The Massillon (Ohio) Independent.