The mother of a teen who died of a suspected fentanyl overdose at a Hollywood high school will speak in Sacramento this week in support of a bill named after her daughter that aims to help prevent overdoses on campuses.
Melanie Ramos, 15, died last September of a suspected fentanyl overdose at Bernstein High School.
Her mother, Elena Perez, will speak at the California Senate’s Health Committee Wednesday to urge support for Senator Dave Cortez’s SB-10.
The proposed law would expand on the state’s fentanyl overdose prevention for high school students and children by having Narcan on campuses and providing prevention education for pupils, parents and the community
Through a translator, Perez said the pain in her heart over the loss of her child gets bigger every day. She said she is going to Sacramento to save lives, and to prevent other mothers from feeling how she does now.
Melanie and her friend apparently lost consciousness after taking pills they thought were Percocet bought from another student. But the pills were laced with the deadly narcotic fentanyl, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Melanie’s friend regained consciousness, but she did not.
Perez said the school informed her that her daughter was missing around 12:30 p.m. that afternoon, but she wasn’t located until eight hours later in the bathroom.
As a result, Perez has filed a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District, which claims that officials knew there were “rampant drug sales” and prior overdoses on campus, but failed to implement safety measures.
She feels that her daughter was not protected by LAUSD administrators.
After the lawsuit was, filed LAUSD issued a statement saying that it does not comment on litigation. “However, the safety and well-being of our students and employees remains our top priority.”
On Tuesday, the district said officials are reviewing the bill’s amendments, which were updated Monday.