Wakefield High School drug overdose

Police are looking into an apparent drug overdose that left a student unconscious in a Wakefield High School bathroom.

Around 9:27 a.m., Arlington County police and fire were called to the 1300 block of S. Dinwiddie Street for a report of an unresponsive juvenile male inside a bathroom.

Before transporting the juvenile to a nearby hospital, medics administered emergency medical care. He is still in critical condition in the hospital.

Medics evaluated four more juveniles on the scene. This incident is being investigated as an apparent drug overdose based on preliminary information. Due to the patient’s age, additional details are not permitted under Virginia law.

Students were dismissed at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday due to a medical emergency. All after-school and evening activities are canceled.

The following letter was sent out to Wakefield families from principal Dr. Chris Wilmore:

I am writing to inform you that a student was found unconscious in one of our bathroom facilities this morning. Wakefield staff took immediate action and called for medical assistance. School officials are in contact with the family of the student who was transported to the hospital by EMS.

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Students are being held in their second period classes at the request of the Arlington County Police Department as they continue their investigation into the medical emergency.

We understand that this news may be concerning, and we want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students are our top priority. If you have concerns about your child, please contact your child’s school counselor, our school psychologist, or our school social worker.

We will provide updates as we are able and will continue to do everything we can to support the student and their family during this time.

Dr. Willmore sent out an additional letter Tuesday, listing resources and tips for parents:

This has been a difficult day for our community. I wanted to provide additional details about the medical emergency this morning and resources available to support our students. I also want to confirm that school will be open on time tomorrow. Counseling support is available to students and staff if needed.

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This morning, a student was found unconscious in a bathroom by fellow students. Wakefield school safety staff took immediate action, called for medical assistance, and began life-saving interventions. The Arlington County Fire Department responded and continued interventions and transported the student to the hospital.

The Arlington County Police Department also responded and began their investigation. As the ACPD shared, the reason for the medical emergency is an apparent overdose. The student remains hospitalized in critical condition. Four additional students were evaluated on scene by medics.

While the police conducted their initial investigation, Wakefield students stayed in their second period classes. As was shared earlier, in order to support the ongoing investigation, we made the decision to dismiss students directly from their second period classes and provided a grab-and-go lunch.

Wakefield staff immediately responded to the situation this morning and followed protocol. I want to personally commend students and staff for their assistance this morning. I also want to reiterate that we are doing everything we can to support the student, their family, and the Wakefield community during this time.

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Additional counseling services will be available for students on Wednesday. Please talk with your student and note that it is important to provide them with reassurance and the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings. The resource below from the National Association of School Psychologists also provides tips and ideas to support your child:

If staff need additional support, they should reach out to Stacy Morris, Director of Counseling.
It’s never too early or too late to talk about substance use. The earlier you speak to your children about substances, the stronger foundation you are laying down.

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