Alaska Kids Were Given Floor Sealant Instead of Milk

District blames mix-up at storage site
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2022 12:49 PM CDT
Alaska Kids Were Given Floor Sealant Instead of Milk
The Sit Eeti Shaanax Glacier Valley Elementary School is seen in Juneau, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.   (Ben Hohenstatt/The Juneau Empire via AP)

Police in Juneau, Alaska, are investigating an apparent mix-up that caused 12 kids and two adults to be served floor sealant instead of milk. The school district says the sealant was served with breakfast meals at a summer day care program at the Sit Eeti Shaanax Glacier Valley Elementary School, and children soon complained that it tasted bad and it felt like their mouth and throats were burning, CNN reports. Workers looked at labels and found that the "milk" in a dispenser was "actually a floor sealant resembling liquid milk," the district said. "Staff immediately directed students to stop consuming the substance" and contacted poison control authorities, the district said.

At least one student received medical treatment at a nearby hospital. The students were in a program for children ages 5 to 12, and parents say they weren't told what had happened until hours after the Tuesday morning incident, KTOO reports. Superintendent Bridget Weiss says the milk and the sealant that resembled it were stored at the same district facility, and the sealant ended up at the school after it was "stored or moved on the same pallet as large pouches of milk that were also in cardboard boxes."

Weiss says police are leading the investigation "not really because we believe there’s anything criminal or mal-intent at this point, but we do want a thorough investigation of what happened, how it happened, and they’re trained investigators," the AP reports. Weiss says that while some children had upset stomachs, they are "doing fine" because school standards require any chemicals used to have a low ingestion risk. She says a state inspector visited the school Wednesday to confirm proper protocols were in place. (More Alaska stories.)

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