El Camino Real Charter High School student dies of apparent fentanyl overdose in Woodland Hills

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Friday, October 7, 2022
High school student dies of apparent opioid overdose in Woodland Hills
A high school baseball player from Woodland Hills has died from an apparent fentanyl overdose, and his classmates are mourning his death.

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A high school baseball player is being mourned after he died of an apparent fentanyl overdose in Woodland Hills.

Cade Kitchen, a 17-year-old student at El Camino Real Charter High School, died of fentanyl poisoning last week. The school sent a letter to the community announcing the student's death, which occurred off-campus.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our 17-year-old students passed away last night," David Hussey, the school's executive director, said in a statement. "This tragic incident was the result of a fatal Fentanyl overdose. As a father and a parent, I cannot fathom the loss of a child. My heart breaks to know that an El Camino student will not be with us tomorrow. On behalf of the El Camino Real community, our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. After the death of a friend, young people need more support and attention than usual from their parents and other adults. This is an especially difficult and emotional time for those who knew the student, the student's family or for students who have experienced recent trauma in their lives."

A GoFundMe page has been established to help with funeral expenses.

The circumstances surrounding Kitchen's death have not been made public.

"It's definitely nerve-racking to think that you don't know what to trust anymore," said student Rachael Galper, who spoke with Eyewitness News on Friday. Many students at the school are still stunned after learning they lost a classmate to the fentanyl.

"Everyone is very sad about it," said student Alex Williamson. "We had a whole announcement about it, a moment of silence for him, and gave our respect and prayers to his family."

On Sept. 13, a 15-year-old girl was found dead in a bathroom on the campus of Hollywood's Bernstein High School after overdosing on fentanyl.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials voted to provide Narcan, or Naloxone, on every campus in an effort to address the increase in fentanyl related overdoses. It is expected to go in effect next week.

"We are all victims here and it's not just one kid that had the problem. It's all the kids, not just here, but throughout the United States," said El Camino Real H.S. Board Chair Brad Wright.

Students say the school is warning them of the dangers of fentanyl while parents say this incident has them scared and are calling this a wake-up call to reach out to their kids.

"I told my kids that if they have anything, they can always talk to us ... and be open to us," said parent Adrian Libatique. "We are here to guide you guys."

Meanwhile, El Camino Real High has counselors on-site for any students who may need help processing Kitchen's death.