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Sharyland ISD employee raises awareness about dangers of fentanyl after son's death

1 month 3 weeks 16 hours ago Thursday, October 06 2022 Oct 6, 2022 October 06, 2022 9:50 PM October 06, 2022 in News - Local

A Sharyland ISD faculty member who lost her son to fentanyl helped spearhead a program to help Sharyland High School parents learn about the dangers of the drug.

“I wanted to push this because I felt this is important that parents, all parents need to hear because if I can save one life, then that’s all that matters,” said Sharyland ISD reading specialist Sandra Bagwell. “I don’t want another family to go we went through.”

Bagwell’s son, Ryan, died in April. He was 19 years old.

"I found the bottle of Percocet; it was tested and the results came back and it was 99% fentanyl,” Bagwell said.

Ryan's death is the only fentanyl poisoning reported in the Valley this year so far.

“We weren’t aware that he started experimenting with pills,” Bagwell said. 

Bagwell took the pain of her son's death and turned it into action. She got Sharyland ISD in contact with the DEA.

On Thursday, they became the first district to hold a learning session for parents about the drug.

In the packed auditorium at Sharyland High School, the DEA explained drug sellers don't make deals on corners in the shadows anymore. Instead, they go online.

Kids might think they're buying other drugs like oxycodone, Adderall, or Percocet – but the DEA says they're getting pills laced with fentanyl.

“If the pill is not given by a licensed pharmacist or doctor, do not take it,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent Richard Sanchez.

The pills are now coming in colors that could be mistaken as candy, putting even younger kids in danger.

“It's not safe to be a teenager, in the days we're living in right now," Bagwell said. "Its very scary and parents should be aware it can happen to anybody.”

Bagwell hopes other schools district in the Valley will reach out to the DEA and help educate parents about the dangers of fentanyl.

For more information about fentanyl, click here.

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