San Diego incident that sent 22 students to hospitals started with “dare”

The incident that led to 22 elementary school students in San Diego being sent to hospitals Thursday with stomach pains began with some fourth-grade tomfoolery, district officials said Friday.

Some may not have been sick at all, officials said.

A “dare” had circulated among the fourth-graders at Audubon Elementary School before lunch: let’s see how much food you can stuff into a drink.

Among the things stuffed into drinks: carrots, salt, pepper and hot sauce.


After lunch, several students complained of belly aches. When teachers asked their classes if any other students were sick, a bunch more, “who may not have had problems at all,” reported feeling ill, officials said.

In all, 22 students got a ride to local hospitals. All were later released to their parents or guardians, officials said.

The incident led to an inspection by county health officials of the school’s kitchen, cafeteria and lunch areas. All the areas were sanitized overnight, and students received breakfast and lunch on Friday.