On October 4, the Davis Police Department received multiple reports from students at Da Vinci Charter Academy in Davis, California, that they unknowingly ate sugar cookies made with human remains.
"A couple of students came to school, they brought some cookies they made. Some other students ate the cookies," Davis police spokesman Lt. Paul Doroshov recently told the Sacramento Bee. "Then the students that brought the cookies essentially, at some point, claimed they contained one of their grandparent's remains from cremation."
However, according to Doroshov, the allegations are based on multiple student reports. The cookies were not tested for physical evidence of ashes.
"As far as we know, no one's suffered any ill effects physically," Doroshov said. "There could be some emotional issues experienced, but no one got sick from this, physically," he added, explaining that although the incident is morbid, it would not be considered poisoning because cremated human remains are not toxic or dangerous.
In addition, given that the penal code referring to the illegal disposal of human remains isn't comprehensive, it is unclear whether the students who baked the cookies would be found responsible for committing a crime. However, according to Doroshov, under California's penal code, the students' actions would most fall under the category of public nuisance.
The school district is currently working with the Davis Police Department's school resource officer to determine what kind of consequences the students behind the incident should face.
"It involves juveniles so there's various options as to what can be done with it," Doroshov noted.
The incident, which occurred on October 4, did not become public until the parents of one of the students who ate the cookies contacted Sacramento's Fox News Monday.
"It blew my mind," said the boy's mother, who asked to remain anonymous. "I was really repulsed. I was upset that I wasn't even notified."
According to the boy's mother, her son told a school administrator about the cookies who instructed him "not to tell anyone."
The way the school handled the situation indicates that the school is "more concerned about protecting themselves than protecting their students," the student's father said, Fox 40 News reported Monday.
On Tuesday, DaVinci Principal Tyler Millsap sent a letter to parents of Da Vinci students regarding the situation.
"The story circulating in the media is something on which I cannot comment, but let me be clear that there is no health risk at to our campus or to any one of our students," the statement says.
"We care about our students and we care about our student's families. We always take all allegations of wrongdoing seriously and we conduct thorough investigations and involve the police or other entities when appropriate. When we find wrongdoing has occurred, we apply disciplinary measures as well as restorative measures to repair the harm within our school community," the statement adds.