Ten middle school students at Santa Ana's McFadden Intermediate School were hospitalized Monday after ingesting an unknown substance, possibly from another student, authorities said.
The incident began around 9 a.m. when an initial student came into the school office with symptoms, according to Deidra Powell, spokeswoman for the Santa Ana Unified School District.
"A student became very, very tired, very, very sleepy – to the point where one of our teachers noticed, sent her to the office," Powell said.
Then one student after another came in with similar symptoms, she said.
The Orange County Fire Authority was called and 10 students of varying ages were taken via ambulance to area hospitals with symptoms of lethargy, fire Capt. Larry Kurtz said.
The students – seven girls and three boys between the ages of 11 and 14 – were expected to be OK.
School officials think one student may have given the substance to fellow classmates.
Officials are not sure what was consumed or how it was taken, but a mother who told KTLA her daughter was affected said the children had consumed Xanax, the prescription psychoactive medication often used to treat anxiety.
Powell said the school principal will contact all parents to explain the situation and ask them for help talking to their children about not taking anything from classmates if they don't know what it is.
One parent at the school said a similar thing happened to her son several years ago at a different school. He was given a pot brownie, mother Ana Duran said, and had to be taken to the hospital because he was on medication.
Now she's warning her sixth-grader daughter about such possibilities.
"I tell my daughter ... she needs to be careful with what she eats, even like candies, whatever somebody gives her," Duran said.