Columbus students hospitalized after smoking Spice

(WISH Photo/Jason Thompson)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – Officials at the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation had to call several parents Wednesday morning after their children were rushed to the emergency room.

“Not one of those parents ever wants a phone call like they had this morning, saying we need you to go to the hospital,” said Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation Spokesperson Larry Perkinson.

It was a call school officials had to make after four students from Columbus North High School got seriously ill, but it’s how they got sick that has school officials very concerned.

24-Hour News 8 went to Columbus and learned the students involved took the synthetic drug Spice.

Spice is a man-made version of marijuana. The state banned it three years ago. School officials in Columbus are trying to find out how the students got it and that no one else gets sick.

“They were together before going to school; they started out at some point this morning in the same place,” Perkinson said.

Some time after first period class, Perkinson said a teenage boy and three teenage girls ended up at Columbus Regional Hospital. He said the boy was in his first period class Wednesday morning when another student noticed he was sick.

“We got him down to the nurses station; did look sick. Turning a little greenish. Not feeling well,” said Perkinson.

Perkinson said the student’s blood pressure was high, he was shaking and had a panic attack. An ambulance rushed the junior to the emergency room. Once there, Perkinson said the teen started talking about the drug he and three sophomore girls took before school.

“The substance they used was Spice. It was their words,” he said, “We don’t know where they picked it up and those kinds of things yet, but we do know they did ingest it, smoked it,” Perkinson said.

Bryan Caudill’s daughter is a sophomore at Columbus North. He heard about the students getting sick just minutes before talking with 24-Hour News 8.

“That’s scary,” Caudill said.

Caudill said it’s a sad situation, but an opportunity to have a serious conversation with his daughter.

“I’ll be more interested in what she’s got to say about it than what I’ve got to say to her,” he said.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation has a zero tolerance- no drug policy. As for how the four students will be disciplined, Perkinson said right now that’s not their priority.

“There’s going to be some assessments done, some recommendations of counseling needed,” Perkinson said.

The four students have since been released from the Columbus Regional Hospital.

School resource officers investigated the case and because they didn’t find any evidence of the drug on the students, they said no charges will be filed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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