SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — The Sumter County Sheriff's Office is investigating multiple reports of students feeling ill and clearing up rumors concerning the cause.
Sheriff Anthony Dennis said in a statement released on Friday that investigators are at Lakewood High School working with the administration to determine what led to reports of students suddenly not feeling well - with one even taken by ambulance for treatment.
"Many social media rumors have spread quickly this week regarding potential student overdoses and a possible drug-related death," the sheriff's office said. "Sheriff Dennis assures the public that there have been no deaths in Sumter County."
He did say, however, that student illnesses are being investigated for possibly being connected to vape pens and candies - edibles - that contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The school district has since issued a statement asking parents to speak with their children.
"It is important that we all understand the severity of this situation because these substances are not safe," Superintendent William Wright said in a statement.
He added that parents should tell their kids about the dangers associated with vaping and edibles and to let school officials know immediately if they notice suspicious activity.
The sheriff reiterated these concerns as well and warned that those giving out these items will face a judge if caught.
“Not only can these items be detrimental to the student’s health and safety, but they are also unlawful," he said. "Violators that are possessing or distributing these type [of] items in the school will be prosecuted accordingly."