Children Sickened by Cocaine at DC Public School Once Recommended for Obama Girls

Washington's local NBC affiliate reports:

D.C. police confirmed that a substance ingested by students at a northwest D.C. elementary school was cocaine, according to D.C. Public Schools.

Several children became ill when they ingested a powdery substance Thursday at Thomson Elementary School, located in the 1200 block of L Street.

D.C. Fire and EMS was called to the school at about 12:30 p.m.

Apparently, one student took a powdery substance to school and passed it out to other students. The children who ingested it complained of throat irritation, NBC Washington's Derrick Ward reported.

Five were taken to area hospitals by ambulance for observation. Parents took a sixth student from the school.

Luiza Ch. Savage, Washington bureau chief for Canada's Maclean's magazine, reminds that this is the same school The Washington Post once recommended as the perfect public school for President Obama's daughters. Here's The Post's Jay Matthews in November 2008, urging the first couple to consider sending the kids to public school:

Why not see what their tax dollars are paying for? One educational gem happens to be the closest public school to their new home. Strong John Thomson Elementary School is at 1200 L St. NW, three-fifths of a mile from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Go north on 15th, turn right on L and three blocks farther it's on the right. ...

Sixty-nine percent of Thomson's 355 students are from low-income families. Forty percent are Hispanic, 34 percent black, 22 percent Asian American and 5 percent white. That demographic mix often means remedial instruction and little enrichment, but parents say the school offers a feast of music, art and foreign languages as good as what they would find in a private school. ...

The last president to send a child to a D.C. public school was Jimmy Carter.

DC. What a place.

Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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