JDCH students sent to hospital after drug use on campus

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A JDC Drug Task Force Committee has been created by JDC Superintendent Ike Haynes after the recent drug issues at Jefferson Davis County High School.

Eight students were taken by ambulance to Jefferson Davis Community Hospital after students were sold gummies on campus that were laced with drugs. Two students were affected one Friday, with six additional students the following Friday.

Because of this eye-opening experience, Haynes enlisted the help of the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Col. Steven Maxwell, as well as Dr. Linda Vasquez, Director of Dream.

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Haynes put together a team that could begin looking at the root causes of why people use drugs.  “I want to look at self-esteem and depression areas where the kids don’t value themselves, because if someone you barely know can just walk up to you and you put in your mouth what they hand you, you are not a confident person.” For this reason, the task force has recommended that any student involved go through an assessment by a facility equipped with administering a diagnosis so that the students can get some help. “We have got to protect the kids, even from themselves.”

Policy changes are being reviewed that would prevent students from bringing brownies, candy and chips to school where there is already a wholesome lunch provided and break period available. The district is also looking at random drug testing policies for all students. Drug testing is currently just for athletes. Additionally, all employees in the district will have access to CPR training and efforts are being made to Narcan available to employees. Employees will also be educated on the signs of drug use/misuse in students.

“We are going to vigorously enforce our zero tolerance for drugs just like we do weapons, because a fatality can happen because of an overdose.”

With the MBN now involved, Haynes says K-9s will be brought to campus to perform random searches.

“You better use common sense because you will get caught. You have gotten our attention. If you bring drugs on our campuses, you can expect to be expelled, period.”

According to Haynes, the appropriate disciplinary actions have taken place with the students involved and all students are physically okay.

“I want to commend nurse practitioner Ashley Ware and the teachers, teacher assistants and administration for their very prompt response during these incidents. They were not worried about sweeping anything under the rug. They were worried about saving those children’s lives.”

Haynes says this is not just a Jefferson Davis County problem. This is a prevalent problem across societies in high schools. “So far, we have not seen opioids, but everyone needs to be worried when the word fentanyl comes up. It’s just that serious.”