blotter tab

This image provided by Wapato Public Schools shows one of the tabs of blotter paper on the left along with an ink pen on the right to provide scale.

Seven Wapato Middle School students who appeared to be under the influence Wednesday ingested fingernail-sized “tabs,” the Wapato School District said in a news release Thursday.

Four students were taken to the hospital to undergo checkups, while three were released to their parents. The students taken to the hospital were later released.

“It has been confirmed that the students involved ingested (a) small tab,” a district news release said. A photo released by the district showed a small square tab with a colorful image of a person on a bicycle.

“We do not have confirmation of what substance these tabs are laced with, however based on information the district has obtained, the symptoms displayed by the students yesterday can often be associated with the ingestion of some type of hallucinogenic,” the release said. “The district does NOT have confirmation of what the substance may be.”

At 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, a modified lockdown was initiated in the district after school staff noticed unusual behavior in seven students. The lockdown ensured clear hallways for medical responders while classes continued, and was lifted around 1:45 p.m.

None of the students displayed symptoms of severe medical distress, District Communications Director Mike Balmelli said.

The district distributed photos of the tabs as a preventative measure, and a student body meeting was held with students of the middle school to remind them of the dangers of ingesting anything of unknown origin, the news release said.

The district is continuing to investigate the issue and providing support services to the families of the students involved.

Reach Janelle Retka at or on Twitter: @janelleretka