A Windsor mother is upset after she says her son was one of several students who was rushed to hospital after ingesting part of a toxic plant at school. 

Ginette Thanese says the Grade 6 students ate castor beans on Wednesday at École Élémentaire Catholique Georges P Vanier on Edgar Street in Windsor.

“I'm a very worried parent," says Thanese.

At least five students were taken to Windsor Regional Hospital, treated and released.

Thanese says her son was one of the students taken to hospital. He was released Thursday night.

"This is supposed to be a safe zone, all these allergies - food allergies, latex allergies, peanut butter allergies, so who was monitoring what, when and where and why. Why did this happen?” says Thanese.

Joseph Picard, Director of Education for the French Catholic School Board in Windsor, says they took immediate action as soon as they learned of the students eating the beans.

“Students unfortunately shared food that shouldn't have been shared," says Picard.

The beans came from St. Clair College, says Vice President of Communications John Fairley. He says a part-time employee at St. Clair College took home the beans from the college’s garden, thinking they were lychee fruit.

The employee sent them to school with his child, who then shared them with classmates.

"Once the parent became aware of what he sent to the school, he informed the school, so then the school right away, the principal very effective dealt with the issue," says Picard.

The Windsor-Essex Health Unit was called to investigate.

“We have concluded our inspection to the facility and didn’t find any ongoing risk to the community,” says Marc Tortola, health unit communications coordinator.  “The facility is reviewing their protocol and will put control measures in place to prevent it from happening in the future.”

The school board says there is a strict no share policy when it comes to food, unless otherwise approved by parents and administration.

"All other parents where the kids have come into contact with the product have been contacted as well to keep an eye on the children."

A notice was also issued to other parents and the impacted kids were released from hospital, but still being monitored.

"They were told to return to normal activity from the doctor in the ER but if any other problems were to arise, to be followed," says Thanese.

The Ontario Poison Centre says castor beans can be poisonous to people.   According to a federal government website Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), “castor bean seeds or Ricinus communis, contain ricin, a protein, which is highly toxic in small quantities. Humans as well as cattle, dogs, goats, horses, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine have been poisoned after ingesting the seeds.”