More than two dozen students at New Castle Middle School in Indiana were recently "sickened" after trying Carolina Reaper peppers that a classmate had brought in, according to the school's principal.
Carolina Reapers are considered the hottest chili peppers in the world. They are rated up to 1.57 million units on the Scoville scale, a measurement of the spiciness of chili peppers. In comparison, jalapeno peppers rate anywhere from 3,500 to 10,000 Scoville units.
"We had a student whose father grows these Carolina Reaper peppers, and he brought several of them to school and passed it around during lunch," New Castle Middle School principal Jaci Hadsell told ABC News today.
The incident came to teachers' attentions after one child had apparently rubbed the peppers' oils in his eyes and began "flailing around" in pain, Hadsell said, adding that overall, more than two dozen more students complained of burning sensations in their mouths and faces.
"We provided them milk to try and coat their stomachs, and then we made the decision to call our local EMTs," Hadsell explained. While helping students recover from the burning sensations, they "watched very carefully about the possibility of anaphylactic shock."
"Fortunately, no one had to be transported to the county hospital, and once everyone was OK, they were released to their parents," Hadsell said.
She added that the kid who brought in the peppers was "appropriately disciplined."