Sweets that put 13 teenage girls in hospital contained cannabis, police have revealed, as they investigate an incident that sparked panic at a North London Catholic school.
Paramedics descended on La Sainte Union Catholic School in Highgate, Camden, at 11.44am on Monday, amid claims students had fallen ill after eating sweets during their morning break.
This evening Scotland Yard has confirmed the sweets contained THC – the active component in cannabis.
A statement released by Met Police officers in Camden read: ‘We understand the sweets contained THC.
‘We await tests to establish the quantity of THC in each sweet.
‘While we await a full update from hospital, nobody is seriously unwell.
There has been no arrest; enquiries continue.’
Some of the girls are thought to have spent the night at a hospital in Barnet, with the school asking parents to obtain a ‘written statement,’ on how the drug-laced sweets were brought into school.
Pictures show a row of ambulances and first responder vehicles parked outside the school – police have confirmed paramedics were treating pupils who had eaten sweets laced with cannabis
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We were called at 11.44am today to reports of an incident at La Sainte Union Catholic School, Highgate’
The girls are thought to have headed back to class, where they reported feeling dizzy, while some vomited.
Pictures show a row of ambulances and first responder vehicles parked outside the main building opposite Hampstead Heath.
One witness told MailOnline they saw ‘girls outside the ambulances crying and one throwing up’.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive element of cannabis that causes a high, it is illegal to sell items containing THC in the UK, while cannabidiol (CBD) is legal to sell and is available on the high street as a health treatment.
In a letter seen by the MailOnline, headteacher Sophie Fegan wrote: ‘We are working with the police to identify the origin of the “sweets”.
‘Once your daughter has recovered, I will need her to tell us how she came into possession of the “sweets” and what she thought they were.
Police in Camden are carrying out tests to see how much THC was placed in each of the sweets
‘I am sure you will be asking her these questions too: it would be most helpful if you would ask your daughter to prepare a written statement for me.
‘We already know the name of the student who brought the sweets in, but we need to know more about how and why they were shared.’
The pupils were treated at the scene after suffering from a ‘sugar rush’ and taken to hospital but police said none are believed to be ‘seriously unwell’.
A spokesman for the school said the contents of what the students ate are being investigated.
He said: ‘A small number of our students have been taken to hospital today after becoming ill.
‘The students became ill after eating what they believed were sweets. The contents of what the students ate and how they came into possession of them is being investigated by the police.
‘We have made parents aware of this incident.’
A police spokesman said: ‘Police were called by London Ambulance Service at around 1145hrs on Monday, 5 October, to reports of children feeling unwell having eaten what they believed to be sweets at a school in Highgate Road, NW5.
‘As a precaution, 13 children have been taken to hospital.
Their parents have been informed.’
Police had earlier confirmed that the school did not need to be evacuated as a result of the incident.
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We were called at 11.44am today to reports of an incident at La Sainte Union Catholic School, Highgate.
‘We dispatched a number of resources including a clinical team leader, five ambulance crews, medics in cars and incident response officers.’
‘We assessed thirteen teenagers at the scene and took them to hospital.’
The 159-year-old school, which counts singer Tulisa and Harry Potter actress Imelda Staunton among its alumni, has been approached for comment.
Headmistress Sophie Fegan is expected to hold a special assembly at the school tomorrow to discuss the incident.
The school’s mission statement reads: ‘We are a Catholic school and we strive to provide a caring, secure environment in which girls realise their full potential.
‘When a girl joins LSU, she and her family join a strong community of pupils, parents, governors and staff.
Paramedics were at La Sainte Union Catholic School in Highgate, Camden, at 11.44am
‘We seek to ensure pupils feel a sense of belonging and window screen repair overland park a deep commitment to our central values of service, courage, and justice.
‘The school focuses on educating the whole person, academically, socially, spiritually and morally through a curriculum centred on the needs and aspirations of all pupils.’
La Sainte Union, which has 1,032 students aged 11 to 18, was rated ‘good’ in a 2019 Ofsted report.