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Substitute teacher gave pills to students as part of lesson plan; parents not happy

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Some parents in the Riverview Gardens School District are incensed over accusations a teacher distributed pills to his students during a class that may have messed with their digestive systems.

According to the school district, a substitute teacher gave students some sort of digestive papaya enzyme as part of a lesson on digestive health Friday. The district said this is not district policy and officials are baffled by the situation and do not support the teachers decision.

The district said as many as 30 students may have been given the pill. The principal and staff called the parents directly so they could ask questions. They told parents that, according to poison control, some kids may have soft stool as a result of the pill.

One mother was not at all satisfied by that schools explanation. She said she cannot know for sure what the pill was. Her 14-year-old daughter said she feels fine but her mom still brought her to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital to get checked out.

"I have my daughter, I only have one daughter, and I am her protector of her life, so I don’t feel comfortable sending my daughter to school knowing that her life could be in danger,” the mother said. “I send my daughter to school to learn to get her education, not for them to experiment on her. I feel like it was an experiment because why else would you distribute pills to 20 students in a class?"

The Riverview Gardens School District said the teacher has been removed from the rotation of substitutes and it is looking further into how this happened.