Mother charged with child abuse after kid takes edibles to school, students hospitalized

Melinda Gatica
Melinda Gatica(Genesee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT
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GENESEE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - A mother in Genesee County has been charged with second-degree child abuse after her child took a package of her THC gummies by mistake to Edgerton Elementary School in Vienna Township, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

Leyton, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson, and Clio Area Schools Superintendent Fletcher Spears gave an update on the investigation on Tuesday.

The update comes after several students of Edgerton Elementary School were hospitalized on Friday after falling ill.

Swanson gave the investigation to Leyton on Monday morning. Leyton and the prosecutor’s office reviewed the investigation and determined what charges needed to be given.

The mother responsible picked up a jar of THC in August of 2021 and used it to make her own gummies, according to Swanson, adding the mother put the THC gummies in a Lifesaver’s package.

The mother left her gummies in reach of her 6-year-old and the child took them to school to share with fellow classmates, according to Leyton.

“If you are gonna do edibles, eat gummies, you have to safe keep them,” Leyton said.

Spears said the classroom affected is a kindergarten classroom with 24 students.

Three of the four ill students who spent the night in Hurley Hospital on Friday night went home Saturday, according to Spears.

The other student went home on Sunday. Spears said all four students are now back to school.

The mother, Melinda Gatica, was arraigned on May 4 after turning herself in.

The sheriff’s office believes each gummy the children ingested could have up to 30 milligrams of THC in them.

Second-degree child abuse is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to Leyton.

The three men suggest parents talk to their children about this situation.