Valentine's Day candy may have made more than two dozen Atlanta kids sick

28 students were taken to the hospital after becoming disoriented.
More than two dozen students at a Fulton County, Georgia, school have been taken to local hospitals after eating snacks and candy on Valentine's Day.
More than two dozen students at a Fulton County, Georgia, school have been taken to local hospitals after eating snacks and candy on Valentine's Day.WXIA

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By David K. Li

More than two dozen children from Atlanta were rushed to the hospital on Valentine's Day, and officials think holiday candy is to blame.

Twenty-eight students felt "nauseated and disoriented" shortly after noon at Sandtown Middle School, Fulton County Schools Chief Academic Officer Cliff Jones said in a statement.

The students became sick "after ingesting snacks and candy brought to school," Jones said.

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"For the safety of all, students and staff were instructed not to eat anything given to them by another person and not to eat anything they didn’t bring from their own home," he added.

None of the children were seriously ill.

"They ate something that caused some kind of reaction. It wasn’t anything life-threatening," South Fulton Fire Department Deputy Chief Jack Butler told NBC News. "Once you get that many kids suffering the same thing, you have to figure out what's going on."

Sandtown Principal Estella Cook told parents in a letter that it is is unclear what caused the students to feel ill.

"Please know that we want answers as much as you do, and will cooperate with all agencies to find out what happened," Cook said.

Fulton County School police are investigating, but Butler had his guess.

"Something in the candy,” he said. “I’m sure it’s something along that line."