KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Three Hays CISD high school students have died from suspected fentanyl overdoses in just the past month, according to district officials.
A 15-year-old high school student died Saturday from a suspected overdose in San Marcos. Two 17-year-old students died in separate incidents in Kyle in late July and early August. The district said both would have been seniors in high school this year.
All three students would have attended Johnson or Lehman High Schools, according to a release from the district.
Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright said he is “worried” by the recent deaths.
“We take all safety and security issues very seriously, but this one is especially concerning,” Wright said in an email to parents. “So far – and I am deeply grateful – we haven’t lost a single student to COVID or gun violence on our campuses. Both of these issues have rightfully been pressing matters the past couple of years. We must treat the fentanyl crisis with the same urgency.”
The district has been working with the Kyle Police Department to alert parents to the dangers of fentanyl. In a Facebook post earlier this month, Kyle PD Chief Jeff Barnett showed photographs of one type of counterfeit pill believed to have caused many of the recent fentanyl emergencies in the area.
“Our hearts go out to the families that have lost someone to the influx of these fentanyl pills in our community,” Barnett said. “Many of those taking these pills believe taking small pieces of the pills makes them safe, but there is no safe amount. Even small slivers of these pills may contain enough fentanyl to cause death or a serious medical emergency, even on first use.”
The police department has responded to at least 16 fentanyl-related overdoses so far this year, with seven resulting in death.
“Parents – please talk to your children about the dangers of taking any pills that are not prescribed to them by a doctor,” the post read. “These pills… are street drugs and even one small portion can be deadly!”
Barnett says detectives and narcotics investigators are working to find the source and suppliers of the pills.
“Sellers should be aware that we will file all appropriate charges related to the possession and distribution of these dangerous pills,” Barnett said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Kyle Police Department at 512-268-3232 or submit an anonymous tip online.
HCISD will hold a press conference with Chief Barnett Wednesday morning to discuss the recent deaths.