WOODINVILLE, Wash. - Police are investigating the possible sale of vape cartridges by a student at Woodinville High School that may have contained fentanyl.
Woodinville Police and the King County Sheriff's Office confirmed Monday that they are investigating.
The Northshore School District sent a note to families about the incident, reading in part, "This week, we received reports that a number of students purchased vape cartridges from at least one fellow student… after vaping with those cartridges, some of the students became sick. There is a concern that the cartridges may have contained illegal substances, including fentanyl."
FOX 13 News spoke with students who said that they were surprised when the district sent out the letter regarding the investigation.
"I was really surprised," said Lucas Dahl, a senior. "I didn’t think it would be affecting our school district."
"It definitely caught me off guard. I didn’t think our school would do something like that," said Bo Graham, another.
Dahl and Graham say they don't vape, but unfortunately, it is common in their school, they say.
"I mean, any day of the week, you can walk into one of the bathrooms, and it’s usually like freshman and sophomores just vaping," said Graham.
"You can walk into a bathroom and it will just smell like vape," said Dahl.
The two say the potential for cartridges to be ‘tainted’ with fentanyl is alarming.
"I hadn’t even heard of vape pods being laced with fentanyl," said Graham.
"It’s very scary," said Dahl.
Meanwhile, police say detectives are just starting their investigation.
"Woodinville Police has an open investigation involving some vape cartridges that were turned over to us by a student who was worried because they heard people were getting sick. It is too early to know if the cartridges were tainted or tampered with. We are working with the Northshore School District to share information," said Woodinville Police Chief B.J. Myers.
"It’s terrible. It’s going to hurt them, you know?" said Denise Caldwell, a Woodinville resident.
Caldwell's children attend school in the Northshore District, and she's worried about the impact this could have on kids.
"It could kill them and that’s the frightening part. Are they aware or not aware?," she said.
The Northshore School District told FOX 13 on Monday evening that this is an issue that schools are dealing with nationally.
Investigations involving vape pens or cartridges have recently been reported in schools in Tennessee and in Connecticut.
Northshore School District spokesperson Lisa Youngblood Hall also referred to the letter sent to families and students for more information.
It reads in full:
Dear Northshore Families and Students,
We want to make you aware of a serious concern that was brought to our attention regarding possible tainted vape cartridges being sold in one of our schools. This week, we received reports that a number of students purchased vape cartridges from at least one fellow student. The reports also indicated that after vaping with those cartridges, some of the students became sick. There is a concern that the cartridges may have contained illegal substances including Fentanyl. The safety of our students is a top priority in the Northshore School District. We want you to know this concern is being thoroughly investigated and the police are involved.
The possession or selling of any vape products on any Northshore School District property or at any Northshore School District event is strictly prohibited. You can learn more about the consequences of violating the rules around vaping products by reviewing our Rights and Responsibilities Handbook (page 45).
With prom, graduation, and other end-of-year celebrations upon us, it is important that you are aware of this concern. We encourage parents and guardians to talk with their students about the danger of purchasing such products and using illegal and deadly drugs like Fentanyl. We want to thank the individuals who have come forward and ask our students to continue looking out for each other. If you see something, say something. You may save a life. You can use our online reporting tool. If you choose to report anonymously, the investigation could take much longer. If you see someone in a life-threatening situation, please dial 911.
Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students safe.