HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – A school community in Hartford continues to mourn the death of a 13-year-old teenager who died of a fentanyl overdose.
The unidentified student died over the weekend after ingesting fentanyl on Thursday.
It happened at the Academy of Sports Science and Medicine.
On Monday, social workers and psychologists provided support to students, families and staff.
Police said 40 bags of fentanyl were discovered at the school. An investigation is underway.
“As a result of this, we are working as a community to ensure that we expand education and awareness efforts, wherever we can in every part of our community,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. .
Hartford City Council is working to launch a new task force to work with the community and prevent future incidents from occurring.
On Monday evening, the school met with the families to discuss what happened.
“This drug, fentanyl, can come in many different guises. We need to make sure our kids know that,” Bronin said. “We need to make sure our parents know that.”
“The City of Hartford is close to our hearts and we will do whatever it takes and bring whatever resources we need to make it a safer city,” council chairwoman Maly Rosado said.
This includes consideration of the availability of Narcan overdose treatment.
The life-saving drug can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“We should think about how we can make it available in schools, in other buildings in the city, really anywhere and everywhere the city has reach. We should make it available and we should train our people to administer it,” Councilman Joshua Michtom said.
Hartford Public Schools are not currently equipped with Narcan.
Mark Jenkins, executive director of the Connecticut Harm Reduction Alliance, said he wants to see Narcan more readily available in communities and public spaces.
“We just want to make sure we can break the stigma,” Jenkins said. “Starting to move towards a language, some inclusion of different populations.”
Walls and floors at the Academy of Sports Science and Medicine were decontaminated with Oxiclean, school officials said.
The school receives air filters for spaces where fentanyl was discovered.
School officials announced late Monday that classes would be canceled for the school on Tuesday after they discovered fentanyl was left in a room.
A lab technician came Monday night to wipe down areas of the school.
This sample will be transported to a laboratory in New Jersey, which was already done with the rest on Saturday. The results came back positive on Monday evening, which led to the cancellation of classes.
The Academy of Sport and Medical Sciences offered guidance to students on Tuesday.
Headteachers and families held a private virtual meeting on Monday evening to discuss what’s next.
“It’s sad, especially since there’s no safety inside the schools and for our children. I don’t know what’s going to happen. As a mother, I wouldn’t even want to send my child away. child,” Vanessa Claudio said.
Claudio, who has a 13-year-old son at school, said the past few days have been sad.
She said she was also worried because it seems children are not being sufficiently protected where they should be.
“I always pray for him so that God can protect him. I hope he learns to make decisions if they offer him money, whatever they do, threaten him, just to say it,” said said Claudio.
Officials said the school would remain closed if fentanyl continued to be detected. For now, the decontamination process will be repeated.
Claudio sent his condolences to the family of the victim.
She said parents face difficult conversations about drugs.
She prays that her son learns to express himself before accepting anything from anyone.
Click on here for information on the Coalition to Support Grieving Students.
For more information on Dougy Center’s bereavement support, Click here.
To access Connecticut’s children’s guide to talking to children about grief, Click here.
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