LANSING, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas parents heard a message that one pill can kill Wednesday night as the fentanyl crisis continues.
Police in Kansas City Kansas now say 70% of all pills they seize are laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl. One Leavenworth County family knows that all too well.
Inside Kansas City schools, police say the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan is essential.
“We’ve deployed Narcan in multiple of our buildings so we know it’s there,” KCKPS Police Officer Brad Boyd said.
Saying “Enough is Enough,” a 2020 KCKPS initiative, parents and students gathered Wednesday to learn about fentanyl, how commonly it’s laced with other pills and how deadly it’s become.
“This is a crisis right now and our kids and our community are impacted by it,”
They watched video of a 15 year old who died this year of a fentanyl overdose.
“I went to wake Cruz up and he was still laying on the side with his phone,” Cruz Burris’s mother Rhonda said in the video.
Cruz Burris’s parents weren’t at the forum, because they were at the cemetery.
“I want to say happy birthday, I’m your dad, you’ve always made me proud,” Andy Burris said standing over his son’s grave surrounded by his friends.
Wednesday was a day that would have been a landmark occasion.
“Today would have been his 16th birthday, he would have had his driver’s license,” Rhonda said.
When Burris overdosed in January taking what he thought was a Percocet he was Facetiming with friends. His parents say no one said anything, because they didn’t know about the drug.
“I know now that fentanyl is in everything and there’s still people out here walking the streets carrying it on them handing it out to kids,” another friend who helped organize Wednesday’s balloon release, Jaden Litewski said.
Since his death, the Burrises have spoken several times at forums trying to spare other parents the same pain.
“No one dreams at 15 that you are not going to wake up the next morning. Nobody thinks that,” Rhonda Burris said choking back tears.
But it didn’t come fast enough for other Leavenworth County students like Desiree Washington and Caleb Jackson whose mothers joined the Burris family Wednesday. to remember Cruz.
They played a favorite Beatles lyric beside his grave summing up their new mission, to “take a sad song and make it better.” They hope to reach one parent or student a time at events like the one in KCK Wednesday, encouraging them to “Cruz to a Drug Free Life” because you never know what’s in that pill.