Incident at middle school sparks social media rumblings

Students kept in classrooms after girl ingests cleaning fluid

A medical emergency Wednesday at Shawano Community Middle School set off a social media frenzy that included claims a girl was forced by other students to drink a cleaning solution and that the school had been put on lockdown.

Shawano police responded at 1:42 p.m. Wednesday for an ambulance call at the middle school, 1050 S. Union St., which involved transporting a girl to ThedaCare Medical Center to have her stomach pumped.

Police Chief Dan Mauel said there was no further police involvement in the incident and, despite social media postings, there was no force involved.

Shawano School District Superintendent Gary Cumberland also pushed back on some of the social media rumors Thursday.

“It is my understanding that no one was forced to do anything,” he said. “The way I understand, it was more of, ‘I wonder what this tastes like.’”

The student was in the band room, which was supervised at the time of the incident.

Cumberland said the school was not technically put in lockdown, but students were kept in their classrooms during the police and emergency personnel response.

“Whenever we have a medical emergency, we have what is called a “no pass,” which means to keep the hallways free by not letting students out of the classrooms,” he said. “This is to allow quick access for emergency personnel and not to embarrass anyone. This is a common practice here in the school district.”

Cumberland said the “no pass” situation was in place just long enough to get the student and emergency personnel in and out of the building in a quick and efficient manner.

“The student and parent met this morning with the associate principal, and it is my understanding that the student is back in school today,” Cumberland said.

The incident will result in some disciplinary action against the student for making an unsafe choice, as per the district’s student handbook.

The student will spend some time looking up the chemicals used in the cleaner and how they can hurt you as a consequence.