Fort Johnson middle school students may have overdosed on stolen pills, deputies say

The outside of the Fort Johnson Middle School on James Island. Five students were taken from the school to the hospital Thursday. The students may have taken some pills, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Two James Island girls turned to their school nurse after throwing up a yellow chalky substance on Thursday.

By the end of the morning, five Fort Johnson Middle School students, all 13- and 14-year-old girls, were hospitalized on suspicions that they had overdosed on unidentified medication.

An incident report released Friday by Charleston County sheriff's deputies revealed the pills may have been stolen from a neighbor of one of the girls.

Paramedics transported four of the girls to Medical University Hospital, sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson reported. The fifth was driven to an area hospital by a parent, he said.

All of the girls were reported to be in stable condition following the incident. An update on their condition was not available Friday.

The school's nurse reported to investigators that one of the girls slurred when she spoke and her blood pressure was elevated. Authorities searched the girls but did not locate any more of the drug.

The girls gave varying accounts about what led to them falling ill, deputies reported. One of the girls reported that she passed the pills out to the others while at a bus stop, deputies said. She later changed her story to say she handed out the drugs in an eighth-grade bathroom, according to the report.

Eventually the girl told investigators that she stole the pills from a woman who lives on Godber Street.

It was not immediately clear what relationship, if any, the woman had to the girl. The incident remains under investigation, Watson said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at