Credit: Em Espey

Quince Orchard students are being commended for their quick thinking in calling 911 after a student experienced a medical emergency at a nearby McDonald’s and had to be administered emergency overdose medication, according to a community email sent by the principal.

The student was found unconscious by classmates in a McDonald’s bathroom on Darnestown Road at approximately 11:56 a.m. on Tuesday morning, according to Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson Casandra Durham. The Gaithersburg restaurant is a three-minute walk from the Quince Orchard campus.

Fellow Quince Orchard students who were present called 911, according to the principal’s letter. Durham said Narcan—an emergency medication used to treat drug overdoses—was administered by a to the student, who then left the McDonald’s. Durham did not specify who administered the Narcan. Afterward, the student was “observed and stopped” by a county police officer and driven to a nearby hospital in stable condition, Durham told MoCo360 in an email.

According to an email Principal Elizabeth Thomas sent to parents Monday afternoon, emergency personnel, school security, administrators and members of the counseling team reported to the McDonald’s to provide support. She praised the student’s classmates for taking “swift action” and calling 911 for help.

“I want to express my appreciation for the quick action of our students to report and provide support to their friends,” she wrote. “They followed the message we have been sharing, which is when they see something, say something. This can help save lives.”

The incident comes amid rising recent concerns about student safety given a spike in overdoses this school year, a barrage of reported hate bias incidents in schools, and reports of rampant drug use in school bathrooms. Narcan has been administered to students on school property 13 times since the start of the 2022-23 school year, according to MCPS spokesperson Jessica Baxter.


On Saturday, local nonprofit Montgomery Goes Purple is sponsoring its third Family Forum on Fentanyl event, which will offer small group discussions in English and Spanish on a variety of safety-related topics. Free Narcan kits and training will also be available, according to the event flyer.