Overdose reported at Wakefield High School

A student at Wakefield High School died last week after being hospitalized for a suspected drug overdose.

On the morning of Jan. 31, Arlington County Police responded to a report of a student found unconscious in a school bathroom.

Dispatch audio revealed that Narcan, a medication to counter the effects of opioids, was administered to the student.

“We’ve trained all of our school nurses, and they have Narcan on them, or naloxone, and all of our school safety coordinators have also been trained and carry it,” Dr. Darrell Sampson, executive director of student services for Arlington Public Schools, said in an interview with news station WJLA. Sampson was among the officials who responded to the incident, according to WJLA.

Marshall’s school health aide Katie Hogan said she has been trained to administer Narcan and that the medication is held in the nurse’s office in case it should ever be needed.

“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,” Wakefield principal Dr. Chris Wilmore said in a message to families. “If you have concerns about your child, please contact your child’s school counselor, our school psychologist, or our school social worker. In addition to the hospitalized student, Arlington police reported that four other students were evaluated at the scene.

Last week’s incident comes amid an ongoing opioid crisis in America that has had a notable impact on younger adults.

Marshall’s substance abuse prevention specialist Allyson Jacobi said she was unable to comment on the Wakefield incident without administrative approval.

Wakefield canceled classes Friday following the incident as well as a lockdown triggered two days later by a suspected intruder.

  • Drug Enforcement Agency lab testing reveals four out of every 10 pills with fentanyl contain a lethal dose
  • Those aged 18 to 34 have the highest rates of fatal and non-fatal overdose in the Fairfax Health District
  • See dea.gov for more information