JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Nearly a month after a THC scare at Oakleaf Junior High School, parents are still looking for answers.
"A bunch of children were essentially poisoned," attorney John Phillips said. They were involuntarily given THC and we are investigating that."
Phillips has been retained by four parents who are concerned about the handling of the incident.
"We don't know if it is intentional," Phillips said. "We are not going to leap there, but there was definitely contamination."
The incident happened Feb. 7.
During a Holocaust Remembrance project, a student brought in food and shared it with the first-period class. The teacher, as well as some of the students, shortly after, complained of feeling sick. The principal of the school contacted some of the parents about their children's complaints.
Parents told On Your Side some students were so high they failed their math tests. Others were very chatty in class
The parents now planning to sue the district. Those parents said their children all tested positive for THC -- the ingredient in marijuana.
"It is a very uneasy feeling to know they're making very light of it," said one parent, who only wanted to be identified as D.H. "They are not taking accountability."
The parents who spoke with On Your Side wanted to remain anonymous to protect their children.
"I just feel the school is trying to sweep this under the rug because we have gotten no resolution from it," said another parent, identified as S.K.J. "It bothers her because it is an illegal drug."
The parents are looking for answers; they want accountability.
"How could this happen? How could my child be exposed to this during school hours?" said another parent, T.C.N.F. "What if it was something worse? It shouldn't have happened."
The district policy is simple and perhaps not specific enough.
It reads on page 35, "Foods prepared outside the Food and Nutrition Services cafeterias may not be served to the students within the school meals program."
"Again, they didn't know," Philips said. "It was a mistake; polices were broken but that's where accountability needs to be had."
The district did not address the potential lawsuit, but provided this position statement, emphasizing that the incident is an opportunity to review existing policy regarding food that is not prepared in its cafeterias.
"The Clay County District Schools Police Department learned that several students and a teacher at Oakleaf Junior High School claimed to be ill after consuming food during class on Friday, February 7, 2020. After more than a week of investigation, which included interviews and testing, the Police could not establish a causal relationship between the food and the alleged illnesses.
This event has provided an opportunity for the District to review existing policies on food prepared outside of the cafeteria. As always, safety is the highest priority and the District will continue to search and identify ways to increase positive experiences for all students and staff."