EMS worker disciplined for gesture at Cleveland school during marijuana candy incident
CLEVELAND– The Cleveland EMS worker accused of making an inappropriate gesture while responding to a school, where at least one student ate marijuana candy, has been disciplined.
The commissioner of Cleveland Division of Emergency Medical Service determined Benjamin Speidel violated the code of contact.
Speidel was one of the paramedics who responded to Anton Grdina School in February for a report of students consuming marijuana gummy bears. The Cleveland Division of Police said nine children, ages 5 to 9, were taken to the hospital, complaining of upset stomachs. One tested positive for THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.
“You acknowledged to ‘playing a game called the circle game’ while you were on an emergency medical scene and conceded that, with afterthoughts, it was unprofessional and inappropriate for a public servant. You admitted to ‘playing the game,’ for many years, in other facets of your life and were not aware that the ‘circle game symbol’ may have an alternate meaning,” the letter said.
The gesture, with the thumb and forefinger creating a circle, is considered by some to be a symbol for “white power,” while others claim that is a hoax.
Speidel was given a written warning, which will remain in his file for two years, for the gesture.
The mother of the child who brought the candy to school was charged with endangering children.