Mushrooms from community garden sicken Silver Lake schoolchildren

An incident that resulted in elementary school students being sickened this week after eating mushrooms appears to have been an accident or mishap — and not an intentional act to harm them, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District said Friday. 

A small group of students became ill Wednesday at Micheltorena Street Elementary School after eating vegetables from a community garden on the Silver Lake campus, school officials said.

According to a phone message sent to parents, the students were taking part in an afternoon “garden instruction” lesson at the garden, which sits on the edge of the campus, adjacent to Sunset Boulevard. The garden is shared with residents who live in the neighborhood.

“We wish the affected children a speedy recovery, and remain dedicated to the safety and well-being of all of our students,” L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King said in a statement.


A parent told KABC-TV that his 10-year-old son had to be hospitalized after someone working in the garden gave him and other fifth-graders mushrooms. After eating the mushrooms, students started throwing up.

Doctors have performed tests on the boy to determine what made him sick, the TV news station reported. District officials said they had no information about the types of vegetables in the garden.

The district confirmed, however, that students are thought to have eaten mushrooms, even though official statements refer only to students sampling “vegetables.”

Apparently, the mushrooms were growing in the garden and no harm had been intended, said district spokeswoman Shannon Haber.  


After the district learned about the ill children, the garden was closed to students. A team from the district’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety is investigating.

The team also will inspect other district gardens for potential hazards.

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7:25 p.m.: This article was updated with more details about the incident and the district’s conclusion that it was an accident.

This article was originally published at 2:10 p.m.

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