Unwitting student: Popcorn tasted too sweet, kind of stale

By Darrell Todd Maurina

When Audi Parrish was offered popcorn during her Monday lunch period, she didn’t like the taste.
“I only had two pieces,” the Marshall Junior High student said. “I felt it was really, really sweet when I first put it in my mouth, not a bad sweet, but just sweet. Then it tasted kind of stale and I didn’t want any more.”
Audi, 12, said she got a stomachache and by the end of the day she was in Plains Regional Medical Center being tested for potentially deadly substances in her system. Those tests came back negative, but she said doctors cautioned her that the negative results could be due to a low dosage, not because she didn’t eat something harmful.
Having to go to the hospital for toxicology testing was a frightening experience, she said.
“I’ve never done drugs before, ever,” Audi said. “Since I’ve never done drugs before, I was really scared.”
Audi said she’s been offered drugs twice at her school, and many of her friends have been offered drugs, but she said she always turns them down. Part of her reason for refusing is research she’s done for a school project on the effects of drugs.
“I learned that it’s really stupid to do drugs,” she said. “Getting high is just killing yourself.”
Audi was one of five students who on Monday reported receiving popcorn that a classmate claimed to have laced with illegal drugs.
Police are investigating the allegations and testing the popcorn.
Audi’s grandmother Joy Keith said she is calling a meeting of all the affected parents to discuss how they should handle the situation.
“I think this is pretty serious, I lost a half-day of work and I have hospital bills now to pay, plus Audi lost a half day of school,” Keith said.
Keith said she was particularly concerned about her granddaughter’s reports that many of her fellow students use drugs and it’s become commonplace for students to openly discuss getting high.
“Why can people bring stuff to schools and not get caught?” Keith said. “There has to be some way to get it out of the schools.”
The student suspected of distributing the popcorn was placed on in-school suspension while police investigate the incident, school officials said.