TRIPS AHOY!: More than 20 students hospitalized after allegedly buying marijuana edibles from school lunch vendor

TRIPS AHOY!: More than 20 students hospitalized after allegedly buying marijuana edibles from school lunch vendor
A photo obtained by Eyewitness News of the marijauna edibles reportedly sold to students of Akhepran International Academy.

School’s founder assures parents “this is a drug-free zone”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Twenty-one students from Akhepran International Academy were hospitalized yesterday after reportedly ingesting marijuana snacks that they bought from a lunch vendor at the school, according to police.

Police said they have arrested a man and a woman for possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply in connection to the matter.

The incident resulted in 13 boys and eight girls having to seek medical attention, with their condition unknown at the time of the report.

Founder and CEO of Akhepran International Academy Dr Jacinta Higgs.

Dr Jacinta Higgs, founder, and CEO of the Bernard Road institution told Eyewitness News that school was dismissed early and administrators immediately went into emergency mode after identifying the seriousness of the issue.

She said administrators on the campus, one of whom is a police reservist, contacted the authorities and sought care for the affected students.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” Higgs charged.

“We are going to deal with this with the strictest sense of the law.

“…We pray to God that as a result of an unfortunate situation that there will be a national address of this because we have been hiding a lot of things under the rug.”

Higgs, who is the former director of Gender and Family Affairs in the Ministry of Social Services, said she was attending a meeting with the prime minister, minister of education, and United Nations representative dealings with the rights fo the protection of children when she received the call about the incident.

“As we go to Geneva this year to report on how we protect children I pray to God that this incident along with several others that have happened in schools recently will pique the interest of civil society, persons in general, public advocacy and awareness so that we can mitigate and stamp out even the thought of these edibles.”

She underscored the importance of taking the matter seriously as marijuana products become more attractive to minors.

Akhepran International Academy is located in Fox Hill on Bernard Road.

She further sought to allay the fears of parents of the schools, insisting that it is a “drug-free zone”.

Higgs noted that while there will be fears, she is hoping that the past 11 years of excellent education will show their commitment to education.

The incident has once again raised concerns regarding the regulation of marijuana and the new trend of marijuana products circulating in the country.

In April, police said several students on Eleuthera fell sick after reportedly eating “marijuana-laced cookies”.

Reports indicated that the edibles were shipped from New Providence via a mailboat to Rock Sound.

A month before, seven students from S C McPherson Junior High School were taken to the hospital after consuming marijuana edibles brought to school by another student.

A 14-year-old student was arrested and charged in connection with the issue.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.