2 students hospitalized after Wayland homecoming dance

Allegan County

WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Two students were hospitalized and several others are sick after Wayland Union High School’s homecoming dance. A cash award is being offered for information about what made them sick.

About 600 kids attended the dance on Saturday. Officers with the Wayland Police Department noticed some kids becoming sick around 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., a spokesperson for the department told News 8 on Tuesday.

Two of the students were brought to the hospital. One of those students was brought to the hospital in an ambulance, the school said in a Wednesday release.

Those two students have recovered and returned to school, Superintendent Christina Hinds said.

“It’s heartbreaking and extremely concerning. To know that some students have been harmed and that somebody may be responsible for that,” Hinds said. “We need to find out what happened.”

School staff were told the drinks may have been contaminated. Only prepackaged food was served, the school said.

The officers at the dance took the beverages for testing. As of Wednesday, the results were not yet available.

Officials for the school district watched video footage but did not see any evidence of someone tampering with the drinks. They have turned the video over to police, the school said.

Officials have not given specific symptoms as the investigation is ongoing, but Chief Mark Garnsey with the Wayland Police Department said they were all similar symptoms.

Garnsey says while they don’t know for sure the drinks were tampered with, officials believe that it is likely.

“We’d love to be wrong but I think our suspicions are probably on cue,” he said.

He said he’s glad it didn’t turn out worse than it did.

“If you have someone that would have an allergy or a different reaction to a substance the results could have been a lot more catastrophic than they are. And there’s no way of knowing that if you were to put something in somebody’s drink or food or whatever,” he said. “We’re just thankful that it wasn’t worse than it was.”

Officials are asking anyone with information to come forward.

“If you know anything, even a slight detail, please report it. Cause that may help us, that may be just the piece that we need,” Hinds said. “Let’s work together to find what happened on Saturday night.”

The Allegan County Silent Observer program is offering a cash reward for anyone who has information that leads to identifying and arresting any suspects who caused students to ingest drugs or something else that made them sick. Anyone with information, or anyone whose kid was sick after the dance, should call Silent Observer at 1.855.SILENT.0 or police 269.792.9366.

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