Medicine meant for students replaced with Aleve by school staffer, Florida cops say

Elise Amendola/AP

A middle school health technician is facing multiple counts of child neglect after detectives learned prescription medication intended for students had been replaced with other medication, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

At least one student ended up in the emergency room after not receiving a required dose of Adderall, the sheriff’s office said in a Dec. 2 news release.

It happened over a period of two months and involved multiple students at Destin Middle School, about 45 miles east of Pensacola, officials said.

“In late September, a child who visits (the suspect) daily for medication administration started noticing a difference in the color and imprint of her pills and mentioned it to her mother. Her mother in turn says she had observed distinct differences in her child’s behavior,” the sheriff’s office said.

“After it was reported, the ... school resource officer and school employees forced entry into the (medicine) cabinet and conducted an audit October 4. The audit revealed at least 110 missing amphetamine/dexmethylphenidate pills from at least five students. One bottle contained an Aleve pill and another had seven pills later identified as aspirin.”

Investigators learned parents of two other students also noticed “resurfacing behavioral issues” during the same period. An audit showed the medication for one of those two students had been replaced with aspirin, officials said.

“The mother of a third victim says she dropped off a bottle of Adderall for her daughter Sept. 29th but had to take her to the emergency room Oct. 4th due to her erratic, unusual behavior,” the sheriff’s office said.

The suspect, a 27-year-old Niceville woman, began working at the school in July, and had the only key to the medicine cabinet, officials said.

She did not have an explanation for how the medications “were missing or had been switched out,” officials said.

She was charged “with three counts of grand theft of a controlled substance, five counts of child neglect, and one count of failure to maintain narcotics records,” the sheriff’s office said.

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