The head of education in the Orkney Islands has urged young people to come forward if they have information about an “unknown substance” that caused five schoolchildren to fall ill.
Five pupils were taken to hospital after ingesting the substance at a school hostel.
Two pupils remained in hospital overnight as a precaution following the incident at the Papdale Halls of Residence in Kirkwall, Orkney, on Wednesday.
Police are leading a joint investigation working with NHS Orkney and Orkney Islands Council.
“It is important that anyone with such a capsule, hands it over to their parents, the school, an appropriate adult or the police and not to ingest it.”Orkney Islands Council
The local authority issued a warning to parents and carers urging them to ask their children about “a clear capsule that may contain a brown or other coloured liquid”.
James Wylie, Orkney Islands Council executive director of education, leisure and housing said schoolchildren that could help the investigation must come forward.
“The situation we found ourselves in this week is exceptionally concerning and as we’ve seen has had significant impact on five young people.
“It’s imperative that young people, when they find themselves in compromising position, know that they have trusted adults that they can turn to.
“And they must take advice from these trusted adults to help and provide them with the guidance required in order to overcome such challenges
“I would also urge any young people that are out there that know information regarding these incidents to be able to inform adults that they know that they can trust to help us support Police Scotland in the ongoing inquiries that are taking place at the moment.”
Medical staff previously said the conditions of the two children in hospital were “not causing concern”.
A council spokesperson said: “It is important that anyone with such a capsule, hands it over to their parents, the school, an appropriate adult or the police and not to ingest it.”
Orkney Islands Council said it would be working with the police, NHS Orkney and the Orkney Drugs Dog charity to educate and engage with students throughout the region’s schools about the dangers of substance misuse.
A spokesperson said: “We are asking for parental support to assist in dealing with this situation and want to stress that this is not about punishment, this is about the health and wellbeing of our young people at this time.
“We would really appreciate any assistance parents and carers can provide.
“Our grateful thanks are extended to the staff at the Papdale Halls of Residence who dealt with the incident swiftly and professionally ensuring the young people concerned received the medical attention and support required.”
The Papdale Halls of Residence provide accommodation for secondary school students from both the North and South Isles to enable them to attend Kirkwall Grammar School.
A Police Scotland spokesperson previously said: “A joint investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and enquiries are ongoing.”
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