Parents outraged after students eat rat poison

January 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Seven students at Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in San Francisco's Portola District were hospitalized Thursday after accidently eating rat poison they had mistaken for candy or cookies. The school is not commenting on how the students came across the poison, but parents are outraged that it was apparently so easily accessible.

"Why didn't they bring in a specialist to kill the freaking rats instead of leaving cookies," Stacy Rivera asked.

Rivera is the older sister and guardian of Dalia Urquieta, one of seven kids who found the unmarked pellets atop a classroom cabinet and supposedly mistook them for cookies.

"The first two swallowed some, the second two chewed and spit it out, the third two licked it and the fourth slightly licked it," San Francisco Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Thompson said.

It was a parent who received a call from a student, who notified the fire department, even though a teacher was reportedly in the room.

The poison is called bromadiolone and is reportedly non-toxic to human, especially in small amounts. There are no reports of the kids showing ill effects, but parents are still upset.

"They say it's not toxic to people? Then why are they in the hospital. If it's not poison, then let's bring out a cookie and let's all have one," Rivera said.

After the incident, school staffers scoured the campus, looking for more rat poison and found more.

ABC7 asked the district spokesperson if there are other schools with rodent problems. She said there probably was. She could not say if other schools were using similar poisons.

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