Students Mistake Ecstasy for Sweets

SYDNEY ~ Three Australian schoolchildren aged 10 and 11 were rushed to hospital after mistaking suspected ecstasy tablets for sweets, police said.

New South Wales state police said emergency services were called in Monday afternoon when two 10-year-old boys and one girl, 11, became giddy and disorientated after eating the tablets.

Media reports said the girl was believed to have brought the tablets to her school at Wollongong, south of Sydney, then shared them with the boys at a lunch break.

Police inspector Bob Noble said there was no suggestion the children had deliberately taken ecstasy or drug dealers had targeted the pupils.

“From the information we received yesterday, from kids at the school, they thought the pills were strawberry lollies (sweets),” he said.

“It could have been fatal; we’ve seen it before in adults so we are thankful the kids are safe.

“We are speaking to the parents and the origin of the pills is now the focus of a criminal investigation.”

The children were released from hospital Monday night and were recovering with their parents.

The New South Wales government said the incident was “deeply disturbing.”

“This is a very unusual set of events, particularly for children this young,” Education Minister John Della Bosca said.

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