Five Albany middle school students hospitalized after swallowing pills

ALBANY (BCN) -- Five students at Albany Middle School were hospitalized  Wednesday after apparently taking pills, fire and school district officials said.

Firefighters responded at about 11:15 a.m. to a medical call at the school at 1259 Brighton Ave. and ended up taking five female students to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Albany Fire Capt. Dustyn Wiggins said.

Wiggins said the students are expected to survive.

Fire officials said the initial call was a medical emergency after a number of students had become ill. The school district did not say what the five female students were doing before getting sick on campus.

Albany Unified School District officials said the students ingested pills. School officials did not specify what pills were taken, but said the students' parents and the Police Department were notified.

The school district said it appears the students were alert when transported. 

"I believe they were all conscious," said Albany Unified School District Superintendent Valerie Williams. "I cannot confirm they started that way or remained that way, but my understanding is they were all conscious."

It was the staff at the school that first got word of students ingesting pills, but Williams did not clarify how exactly those staff members found out.


"We want our students to come to school ready to learn being happy healthy safe individuals and we do our best to get that message across to our students and their families," said Williams.

The superintendent said the female students are in 7th and 8th grade. She did not know if they were friends.

School district officials said they will reach out to the families to ensure that counseling services are made available and will increase counseling services at the school.