Flutes stained with bodily fluids distributed to California schools
A batch of plastic flutes is being pulled from southern California schools after teachers discovered a man’s bodily fluids on them.
Among the recipients were students in three Orange County elementary schools, whose parents were told of the horrific discovery in an email Friday.
“We were informed that an independent contractor who provided a music enrichment program to the fifth-grade classes at Courreges Elementary School, in June 2017, gave the students flutes/recorders that were potentially contaminated with bodily fluids,” Fountain Valley School District Superintendent Mark Johnson emailed parents, according to the Orange County Register.
The PVC plastic flutes likely went to kids in the Flutes Across the World Program, he added. Courreges Elementary was the only school in the district believed to receive the tainted instruments, the newspaper reported.
California Department of Justice officials are investigating the incident, as is the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Parents in the Capistrano Unified School and Newport Mesa Unified School districts received similar notes from administrators.
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“Our initial research indicates that the impact to NMUSD is limited to four classrooms at Sonora Elementary School,” reads an email from the Newport Mesa district. “No other NMUSD schools are believed to be impacted.”
The districts warned parents to grab the flutes if they find them and seal them in a paper bag to save potential evident, the OC Register reported.
It wasn’t clear what type of fluids were on the flutes, which can be decorated. The contractor wasn’t identified. Flutes Across the World couldn’t be reached for comment.
“As part of the investigation, we are working with local law enforcement and school districts to collect instruments, for the California Department of Justice to process,” a spokesman for the California DOJ told the OC Register.
Capistrano spokesman Ryan Burris told the newspaper the investigation will take “some time” as officials figure out which of the district’s schools were affected.
“We understand this is deeply upsetting to our families and that you may be seeking more details than we can provide,” he said.