The father of Heather Wheatley, a 15-year-old Bernstein High student who almost died from an overdose is speaking out, warning parents about the dangers of narcotics on school campuses.
Heather, along with her best friend Melanie Ramos, 15, had been sold pills purported to be Percocet, but were laced with fentanyl, according to LAPD.
Authorities believe the teens crushed the pills and ingested them inside a campus bathroom, losing consciousness afterward.
Although Heather woke up hours later, Ramos never woke up.
“It hurts me because Melanie, she’s like family to us,” Heather’s father Greg Wheatley told KTLA. “I’m not sure exactly how they ended up on the bathroom floor for all those hours. It’s anyone’s guess.”
Two teenage boys, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, were arrested on Thursday for allegedly selling the pills to the girls on campus.
Both boys attended Academic Performance Excellence Academy, located on the same property as Bernstein High School.
Wheatley says the two girls were best friends for years before transferring to Bernstein High together about a month ago, and were excited for a new start.
Unable to move her legs after waking up, Heather was eventually able to crawl out of the bathroom and seek help. Her father says school staff were only able to find her after a concerned family member arrived on campus, searching for the girl well after class had been dismissed.
Wheatley wonders why his daughter and her friend weren’t found earlier.
“We need to have security no matter what,” says Wheatley. “That’s a big school, that’s a big campus and whether security or just someone in place to ensure that people are not hanging out in the restrooms – just to be more watchful.”
Wheatley says his daughter’s mother had alerted the principal earlier in the day, concerned after they hadn’t heard from Heather. But little did they know, Wheatley says his daughter was asleep on the bathroom floor, unable to even hear the intercom announcing her name.
“It’s only a matter of time before it happens again,” says Wheatley. “If it happened to my daughter, it can happen to anyone’s child.”
Following the deadly incident, district leaders say they’re now focused on enhancing safety measures including identifying additional perpetrators on campus who could be targeting students and future victims.