The Food and Beverage Policy at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC is pretty straightforward, with eight bullet points that remind students that they can’t eat in a classroom unless a teacher invites them to and that they’re expected to put their trash and recyclables in the proper bins after each meal. During any normal week, the restrictions on outside food and drink are limited to preventing off-campus eaters from bringing, say, Happy Meals back into the building—but this isn’t any normal week.
Principal Kimberly Martin saw 4/20 rapidly approaching on the calendar and subsequently banned all baked goods and gummy bears from campus as a precaution against students taking part in the Official Unofficial Holiday of Getting Stoned as Hell. “We suspect that next Friday, 4/20, will be another day of risk-taking for our students," Martin wrote in an email obtained by NBC Washington. "Four-twenty' (4/20) is a globally recognized day in cannabis culture, and is often a day when students over-use marijuana.”
Martin sent the letter to parents and members of the school community earlier this week, to remind them that they are the “front line of defense” when it comes to keeping their kids away from drugs. But the school will be stepping its own defensive efforts, which means that “large quantities of brownies, cookies, or cupcakes,” as well as gummy bears, lollipops or candy bars will not be entering the building until at least 4/23. She did not specify how the school will prevent those items from entering the building, or whether students will have their personal property searched as part of the crackdown on cupcakes. (MUNCHIES has reached out to the school for comment but has not yet received a response.)
In the message, Martin also reminded parents that they should do what they can to prevent students from accessing prescription drugs, and said that the school would not be providing the location of this year’s prom in advance so that parents (or students) can’t reserve rooms in whichever hotel will be welcoming several hundred high schoolers. (According to NBC Washington, Martin called the practice “a tacit endorsement of reckless and irresponsible behavior.”)
“I encourage you to become comfortable talking with your teens about moods and mind-altering substances,” Martin wrote. “Remember, the most dangerous words in today’s teen drug world are not ‘heroin’ or ‘binge drinking.’ The most dangerous words are ‘not my child.’”
Any other year, Martin’s ban on baked goods might sound overzealous, but after the recent seven-day stretch the school has experienced, it seems like a necessary precaution. Last Friday, six Wilson students were treated by emergency personnel for possible overdoses at the school. The Washington Post reports that the DC Fire Department and EMS services arrived at the school at around noon last Friday, possibly in response to a call from the nurse’s office.
The affected students were taken to a nearby hospital with serious but not life-threatening symptoms; the school has declined to confirm what substance or drug might have been involved. (Some students told WJLA that the students took percocet, while posters on a DC-area parents’ message board says their kids said it was “bad Xanax.”)
“Several of our students became ill at school,” Martin informed parents in a letter. “Following proper protocols, we immediately contacted Emergency Medical Services, and the students were referred to the appropriate medical officials.”
Hence, no gummy bears this week. Stay safe, kids.