Cafeteria deemed safe at Farmersville school after students fell ill, superintendent says

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Friday, December 8, 2023
Classes resume at Farmersville school day after students fall ill
Class is resuming at an elementary school in Farmersville after nearly four dozen children fell ill on campus.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Class is resuming at an elementary school in Farmersville after nearly four dozen children fell ill on campus.

The city fire department says 44 kids reported feeling sick Wednesday afternoon at Freedom Elementary.

The children described feeling nauseous, dizzy, and numb in their mouths and fingers.

The department says 36 of them were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The school went on lockdown as anxious parents were waiting outside for information.

"It didn't help that they weren't really updating us with anything; they kept kinda delaying the information as we were all kinda grouped up over there. We can feel the anxiety from all the parents," says Gloria Jimenez, whose sibling attends Freedom Elementary School.

Students who felt ill were separated from the rest.

First responders ruled out a number of possible causes and believed the symptoms could be tied to something the children ate.

Tulare County Environmental Health inspected the school cafeteria and deemed it safe to re-open.

Superintendent Sergio Chavez says his staff quickly jumped into action- and are actively investigating what caused students to fall sick.

"It remains a big question mark, but we're not gonna stop until we find out the source, and once we do, we will make that public. No one is trying to hide anything here. We just wanna make sure that we know first," mentioned Chavez.

"We are looking at other means on the anonymous tips; possibly another substance was brought in, but that is further investigation," explained Farmersville Fire Battalion Chief Jim Thomas.

The investigation continues to be ongoing.

The district says all children are reportedly safe and back home.

A Q&A session was held for parents at the school on Thursday afternoon.

Farmersville Unified School District has its board meeting once a month.

They have one this upcoming Tuesday, December 12th, starting at 6:45 in the evening.

Parents with concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will take place at the Farmersville Unified School District office.

You can find more details by clicking here.

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