Three of the seven middle-school students hospitalized last week for ingesting rat poison have been suspended for offering the chemical to their peers, school district officials said Wednesday.
The offending students had peer-pressured the others to eat the poison as candy, according to an investigation by the district.
“This is a very serious offense,” school officials said in a released statement. “These students told their peers it was candy though they knew it wasn’t.”
Last week, seven boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 12 at Martin Luther King Junior Academic Middle School were hospitalized for ingesting small amounts of the poison, which was in the shape of small colored cube.
All the students were asymptomatic and released the same day.
District officials say they continue to investigate where the rat poison came from. Initial reports from the San Francisco Fire Department said the students found it on a classroom file cabinet.
The district noted the rat poison found can be purchased over the counter, but it is not used by San Francisco Unified.
The district banned the used of toxic pesticides in schools in 1998 and requires warnings to be posted in the school and sent to parents 48 hours prior to use of such pesticides.