During the summer of 2022, the communities in Hays CISD began to see an increase in overdoses, poisonings, and deaths related to fentanyl. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often the ingredient used in counterfeit pills purchased on the street – sold as something else like Xanax, Percocet, or oxycodone. Quite often, in cases involving fentanyl, people who take the drug have no idea they are taking it. In the drug trade, fentanyl is a cheap alternative to other synthetic opioids and it takes so very little to kill.
Sadly, during the summer and first week of school in 2022, four Hays CISD students died from fentanyl poisoning, or suspected poisoning. Additionally, students have overdosed on the drug both at school and at home. Given the direct effect on our school district and our students, Hays CISD has committed to keeping the fentanyl conversation open and ongoing.
"I'm worried. We take all safety and security issues very seriously, but this one is especially concerning. We must treat the fentanyl crisis with urgency," said Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright.
What Is Hays CISD Doing?
To help fight the fentanyl problem, Hays CISD is:
- Partnering with local law enforcement, emergency management, and health authorities to monitor and collaborate on the best way to combat the crisis.
- The district stocks Narcan at all campuses – through the nurses’ offices and school resource officers (SROs) from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. Narcan, administered quickly enough, can help reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose.
- District nursing staff, counselors, safety and security team, curriculum and instruction leaders, and our principals and campus leaders will be working on in-school educational opportunities, which may include assemblies, homeroom discussions, posters, or other ways to inform students about fentanyl dangers.
What You Can Do:
To help fight the fentanyl problem, you can:
- Talk to your children. Tell them that ANY pill they get from a friend or purchased online or off of the street could be a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl. Only take medication that was prescribed by a doctor, purchased at a pharmacy, and approved by parents or guardians.
- Learn about the fentanyl crisis and help spread the word that this is a dangerous situation. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website’s Fentanyl Facts page as a starting-point: https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html)
- Ensure that your child delivers all medications, including over-the-counter medications, to the school nurse for distribution. Students should not carry any medications with them at school, nor share them for any reason.
- Reach out to your school nurse or counselor with any specific concerns, or if you need additional resources that are unique to your family.
Links, Resources, and Tips
Fighting Fentanyl Video Series
Hays CISD is producing and releasing a series of educational videos featuring local families and people who are affected by the fentanyl crisis. These videos also feature those in our community who are on the front lines fighting. As the video episodes are completed, they will be published online here. Additionally, some may be posted on social media and played for students in classes.
Student Created Fentanyl Awareness Campaign
A video message about the dangers of fentanyl from the Centers for Disease Control:
A video message from Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright about fentanyl - a segment in his weekly "Wright This Minute" message published August 25, 2022: