Parents want answers after Davidson County elementary school students get sick on return from field trip

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Tammie Owens says her son Chance hasn't been feeling well since Friday.

“He's still having headaches off and on,” Owens said.

Headaches the 11-year-old says he first started getting while on an activity bus with his classmates, coming back from a field trip to Carowinds on Friday.

“I started having a headache,” Chance said. “Then everybody started getting sick and everything.”

Chance is a fifth grader at Churchland Elementary School in Davidson County.

He's one of the several students that got sick on the bus which the school system says had no air conditioning.

"Their faces were turning red and some of them looked pale," he said.

Multiple EMS units were dispatched to Churchland Elementary School shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, according to Davidson County 911.

Owens shared cell phone video with FOX8 taken at the school after the children returned.

The video shows children being treated, some with ice packs on their heads and bodies.

EMS treated several students and one adult, according to Donna Stafford, a spokesperson for Davidson County Schools.

Six students were taken to the hospital, according to Stafford.

Anthony Garrett says his daughter was one of those students.

“Her blood pressure was up and she was really pale and around her eyes was so black,” Garrett said. “She looked like death.”

Both Garrett and Owens feel like the school district hasn't given them enough answers.

"We're supposed to feel safe when we send our children to school," Garrett said.

The superintendent for the school system, Dr. Lory Morrow, says the incident is still being investigated and that student safety is taken seriously.

Stafford says an email was sent out Friday to parents prior to the students return to school.

Neither Owens nor Garrett say they got an email.

“That is a lie,” Owens said. “No email, no email whatsoever. The phone calls we got were on Saturday.”

Stafford sent this statement on Friday after being contacted by FOX8:

"Some Churchland Elementary students and several adults became ill on the way home today from an educational fieldtrip to Carowinds. The students and adults were riding on a bus that did not have air condition. EMS treated six students at school and one adult and six students were treated at Lexington Memorial Hospital and later released. Churchland Elementary Administration and the district will investigate the incident and assess current fieldtrip procedures. Student and staff safety is our top priority and Davidson County Schools will make changes as needed. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the students and staff."

Stafford says Churchland Elementary School has two upcoming field trips.

Students will be traveling by charter buses.

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