About a quarter of the 44-person staff at a Bangor daycare reported feeling high on Wednesday when they ate Valentines Day cookies dropped off by a parent, the daycare director said.
The cookies, which police are testing for traces of illegal substances, were among several batches of holiday treats delivered by parents that morning and set on a staff room table, according to Tiffany Nowicki, director of Watch Me Shine on Gilman Plaza.
About a dozen teachers ate from one batch that gave them a funny feeling soon after, she said.
“It was pretty instant. Within 15 minutes, teachers were reporting they had concerns about those cookies,” said Nowicki — specifically, that the cookies made them feel high. “Something tasted off,” according to one staff member, she said.
After two staff members who had eaten at least an entire cookie reported feeling woozy, about ten others came forward with similar but less intense symptoms, Nowicki said.
The parents have been supportive, she said, and all but one of the 41 children in attendance on Wednesday was back at the daycare the following day. One child had the flu on Thursday.
The center provides traditional daycare and specialized programming for children ranging from preschool age to five year old. The staff includes ed techs, speech pathologists, and occupational therapists, Nowicki said.
The daycare has since changed its policy about food.
“We have a strict policy that you can’t share adult food with the children,” Nowicki said. “We now have a new policy: no outside food [can] be brought in for the children or staff.”
Nowicki wasn’t at the daycare at the time because she was attending to a family matter, but when a staff member called her, she said she gave the order to call the police.
At least seven officers arrived at the daycare and seized the cookies to test them. If the results come back positive, police will have a basis to charge the responsible parent with drug-furnishing and reckless conduct crimes, according to Sgt. Wade Betters. The school is a drug-free zone.
“It all stands on an ‘if,” said Nowicki, who, like the police, declined to name the parent before tests show whether the cookies were laced. “If they find something that shouldn’t be in those cookies, that’s a big problem and we’ll make sure it’s addressed.”
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