‘Utter shock and disbelief’: Richmond mother says counselor gave her son Percocet at school

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A counselor is accused of handing out prescription medication to students at a private school in Richmond. One parent told 8News her son was offered the well-known painkiller Percocet on school grounds on more than one occasion.

Kanika McBride said she enrolled her 15-year-old son — who 8News is not identifying — into United Methodist Family Services’ Charterhouse School for the 1-on-1 educational experience. She never considered prescription drugs being part of the package.

“The principal called and said that an adult had given my son some medicine,” McBride said, recalling the ‘terrifying’ phone call she received last Friday. “I was in utter shock and disbelief that one of the places that I deemed should be most safe was a place where he had access to Percocet by an adult who’s supposed to be guiding him.”

Kanika McBride

Her son said he didn’t know it was drug.

“He said that (the medication) was sitting out and (the counselor) just offered it to him, and he told him, ‘yes,’ and he went and took it,” McBride said.

McBride said it all clicked when she noticed her son was taking frequent naps and showing signs of exhaustion.

“I could’ve come home and found my son unresponsive and thought he was just asleep,” McBride added.

8News reached out to UMFS and was told the counselor at the center of the allegation works for Dominion Youth Services, a company that offers one-on-one support for students with behavioral challenges.

UMFS contracted Dominion Youth Services to help with some of their students, including McBride’s son.

The private school released the following statement:

“We’re disheartened to learn of allegations that a third-party student services contractor may have offered prescription drugs to some of our students. We acted immediately by meeting with students, contacting the contractor’s employer and notifying the police.” — UMFS

Richmond Police said at this time no charges have been filed, though the investigation is still ongoing.

Dominion Youth Services confirmed to 8News that all employees undergo background checks and that the counselor was immediately suspended, pending the results of the investigation.

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