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Message from the Superintendent

Dear KCSD Families, 

There is a concerning trend of school-age children becoming ill after ingesting gummies containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element of marijuana. It is vital that we partner with our families to keep our children safe at all grade levels.

According to the Upstate New York Poison Center, in the last four years their emergency line has experienced a six-fold increase in the number of calls for cannabis ingestion by children under the age of 19, and more for children under five years old. They attribute this to the availability of marijuana products in enticing packaging that looks like candy or other sweet treats, which hold a strong appeal for children. However, a single serving may contain several times the recommended dose of THC for adults, making children who ingest them very sick and possibly creating a life-threatening situation.

School Resources to Support Your Student
The District will take every measure to support and protect students in our care. KCSD’s designated Substance Abuse Counselor will be holding a series of informative assemblies and is available for student support. Our school psychologists and social workers are also available for one-on-one appointments for any of our students. If you have any questions about how to connect with the resources within your school, please contact your school principal.

In accordance with our disciplinary code, there will also be consequences for any students found with THC edibles or other banned substances.

What Families Can Do

  • Discuss the real and serious health risks associated with THC consumption with children.
    • Provide children with accurate information about THC edibles, including how difficult it can be to judge an edible dosage, that there can be a lag time before feeling effects, and that consumption is linked to negative impacts on developing brains.
  • Instruct children not to eat gummies or other candy of unknown origin, whoever offers them.
  • If adult members of a household use THC gummies, store them properly–outside of the reach and sight of children, in a locked container. Do not use these products in front of children.
  • If any friends, family, or caregivers are visiting your home, ask them if they use THC gummies and if so, make sure that they are stored responsibly.
  • Make sure your child knows that possessing, ingesting, or bringing edibles to school is unacceptable and will have serious consequences.

Signs that a Child May Have Ingested THC
Be aware of changes in your child’s behavior. Your child could be under the influence of THC if they:

  • Act lethargic
  • Act paranoid
  • Have impaired motor ability
  • Have a panic attack
  • Have hallucinations

If you suspect your child may have ingested any amount of THC, follow NY State Department of Health guidance by calling the Poison Control Center immediately: (800) 222-1222.

Additional Resources
HealthyChildren.org
THC Gummies and Other Cannabis Edibles: What Parents Should Know
New York State Office of Cannabis Management
New York State Office of Addiction Services & Support

We all have a common deeply-shared goal, keeping our students safe and healthy in both the home and school environment. We appreciate your vigilance and partnership in helping address this serious issue.

If you have any further questions, please contact your building administrator.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul J. Padalino
Superintendent of Schools