LA student dies from accidental fentanyl overdose


(NewsNation) — Hollywood’s Bernstein High School was in mourning Wednesday, with most students stunned by the death of a 15-year-old girl found in a school bathroom Tuesday night.

Another 15-year-old is hospitalized after both girls ingested pills believed to be laced with fentanyl.

“Drug dealers are making them look like ecstasy pills, so kids are quick to take them. Other than that, I really can’t put my fingers on it. So sad though,” Kendra Roundtree, a parent in the district, told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday.

According to police, the girls took what they thought was Percocet.

“They ingested those pills and immediately felt ill and suffered from overdose. This stuff is poison. It’s very dangerous and it’s going to kill more people out here on the streets,” Lt. John Radtke of the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The pills apparently came from a dealer at a nearby park.

“Over the past three weeks alone, there have been six individuals who attend neighborhood schools, who were at that park for the purpose of making a connection with an individual,” said Anthony Carvalho, Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent.

Last Friday, there was a close call at Chipman Junior High in Bakersfield, also involving fentanyl disguised as Percocet, when a campus supervisor required Narcan after mere exposure to the drugs while checking a student’s backpack.

“Our district is a microcosm of our community. Drugs exist in the community and unfortunately, sometimes, the evil preys upon our 13- and 14-year-olds,” Mark Luque, superintendent of the Bakersfield City School District, said of the incident.

The opioid crisis is hardly new but it has exploded from increasing death rates in just three states in 2016 to practically every state by 2020.

For weeks now, there have been multiple warnings about rainbow fentanyl pouring into the U.S. across the southern border, but plenty is already here in other forms, killing more kids every day.

“It is unacceptable, but it is even more unacceptable when it impacts the youth of our community,” Carvalho said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl claim about 150 lives a day.

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