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Plano ISD student dies from fentanyl poisoning, her parents share dire warning

The district superintendent sent a letter to families encouraging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs.

PLANO, Texas — A Plano student died from fentanyl poisoning last month, according to the student's family and a letter to families from Plano Independent School District officials this week.

District superintendent Theresa Williams sent a letter to families Wednesday evening, letting them know about the student's death and providing more awareness about the issue of fentanyl.

"We recently experienced the tragic loss of one of our beloved Plano ISD students to a deadly fentanyl poisoning," Williams said in the letter. "I cannot express the sadness and grief that we are all feeling."

Two Plano parents told WFAA their daughter, Sienna Vaughn, is the victim. 

"This was our…worst nightmare come true," Sienna's mother, Stephanie told WFAA Thursday night. 

Sienna's parents said they found their daughter unresponsive in her room with her friend on February 19.

Stephanie attempted CPR and called 911. By the time they made it to the hospital, she said, doctors told her Sienna would not survive.

"They said we could go in and talk to her and tell her goodbye, and we did" Stephanie cried.

"I looked like she was just sleeping...I told her, 'I’m always there for you. And I'm still always there for you." 

Sienna's parents said their daughter, like so many children who overdose on the deadly drug, believed she was just taking a painkiller. She didn't know it was laced with fentanyl. 

"It is a trap that kids are falling into daily," Sienna's father, Ryan Vaughn, added.

"They’re things that are in their parents drug cabinets, or maybe they’re already on them, like for ADHD, or anxiety or they can’t sleep."

That's why, Ryan and Stephanie said, they're sharing Sienna's story so publicly. 

All parents, they said, need to regularly tell their children they can't take any pill that doesn't come from a parent or doctor.

They also want more parents to get involved in the discussions around fentanyl in their school districts and with their local police departments. 

"[Sienna] was too trusting, and too loving," Stephanie said. 

Her daughter, she said, took the pill from a friend at school.

"She was too sweet for this world we live in."

Stephanie and Ryan said Sienna was a great student, cheerleader and Girl Scout. She also loved music, being with her friends, and playing with the family cats.

They created this GoFundMe to raise money for an advocacy fund, which they say will go towards efforts to save other children's lives. 

In addition to news about Sienna's death, Plano ISD listed initiatives to help parents talk to their kids about fentanyl and other dangerous drugs. The letter included links to two parents workshops and a panel discussion that are scheduled to happen within the next week.

Plano ISD provided resources for facts about fentanyl and signs of an overdose. They also shared advice on how parents can warn kids about drugs and show them how to say "No" if they're ever being pressured by others.

In case of an overdose, the district recommends that parents have access to Naloxone, which can quickly reverse opioid effects. They also recommend parents in the district reach out to school counselors if anyone in the family needs help.

"We are asking for your support in educating our children on the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs," wrote the superintendent. "Through open communication and a unified effort, we can work toward a safer and healthier community."

Fentanyl use has been top of mind in North Texas school districts. In February, school district officials in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch district announced there had been 10 student overdoses on fentanyl, including three students who died. Several arrests have been made in those cases in recent weeks.

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