Out of an abundance of caution…
Long story short, the kids are going to grow up in Supermax.
Dennis the Menace never tried this prank, to my knowledge.
A few 9 year girls discussed smearing hand sanitizer around their allergic teacher’s classroom and it’s suddenly a murder plot? Christ, if the things I “discussed” with my friends at that age were dragged out into public view, I’d probably still be locked up.
I recall having similar discussions with friends in high school about manufacturing a no-school day by dumping Visine into the coffee in the teachers’ lounge (this was the early-to-mid-nineties, so we didn’t have the benefit of Snopes to teach us that the laxative effects of Visine are, in fact, a myth).
We never actually attempted such a thing, we simply discussed the mechanics of it: how to get into and out of the teachers’ lounge undetected, how to time such a thing as to expose the maximum number of teachers, what was the ideal ratio of Visine to coffee to maximize the effect, but avoid detection, etc.
If these fourth-graders were anything like my high school friends, this wasn’t a plot, it was a thought exercise.
Coincidentally, an associate on FB just posted a drawing he did in 4th grade of him and his friend peeing on their teacher. I think most of us have had immature vile fantasies of people we didn’t like at that age.
There, I fixed it for the spineless administrators who seem to fear actually making the judgement calls appropriate for their pay grade.
In grade school, when learning the lyrics to “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, our music teacher let us sing the ever-popular “Burning of the School” version. Fun all around, and no one was investigated by government goons.
I’m just sad that the unenlightened have followed through with less than “hilarious prank” consequences as illustrated in the full Snopes article.
In 1995 an adult customer at a Whole Foods market (a retail chain of natural and organic foods) had his wheat-grass smoothie spiked with a bottle of Visine by a clerk intent upon playing a practical joke. The victim, Rudy Trabanino of Houston, became violently ill and had to be hospitalized for several days with acute pain and a variety of serious medical problems. The clerk responsible for the act was dismissed, and Whole Foods Market settled out of court with Trabanino for an undisclosed sum after he brought a $1 million suit against the store.
On 17 November 2001, Damien Kawai, a member of the U.S. Air Force, killed his roommate and fellow airman, Charles Eskew, by strangling the young man, then attempted to conceal the crime by slitting the wrists of the corpse to make the death appear to be a suicide. Kawai admitted to earlier spiking his roommate’s beer with Visine, under the belief this would render the doomed man unconscious. (It actually caused him to vomit and suffer labored breathing.) In May 2002, the 19-year-old Kawai was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Eskew.
In October 2003, an unnamed Southern California high school student put eye drops in teacher’s water bottle in an attempt to give his instructor severe diarrhea. Others in the class who saw the act removed the adulterated beverage before the intended victim could drink it. The student responsible has been charged with tampering with a drink with intent to cause harm.
In June 2006, five Wisconsin high school students trying to pull the Visine prank poured about a quarter of a bottle of the eyedrops into a classmate’s water. The victim spent several days in the hospital recovering from reactions to the poisoning that included a dangerously low heart rate and blood pressure. Each of the five “pranksters” pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct and received sentences of 18 months’ probation and 60 hours of community service.
Also in June 2006, Kristine Anzalone served her roommate, Joseph Gentissi Jr., an iced tea spiked with Visine. Gentissi experienced vomiting and bleeding from his rectum, and Anzalone eventually agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors under which she was ordered to pay $10,000 in hospital bills, serve three years’ probation, and obey an order of protection.
In January 2009, 40-year-old Tonia L. Peterson of Fair Grove, Missouri, was charged with first-degree assault for dumping half a bottle of eye drops into her husband’s tea in an attempt to kill her spouse. When investigators contacted the husband he reported experiencing stomach problems for the past two months, and poison control personnel informed a detective that ingesting too much Visine “would put a person in a coma with several other serious symptoms.”
In June 2009, Denise Moyer of Wells, Vermont, was arrested for third degree assault after police confirmed she’d spiked a co-worker’s drink with Visine a few days before the woman became ill and died. The assault took place on 31 October 2008 at a Halloween party, and on 2 November 2008, 49-year-old Marceline Jones of Comstock died of what were then presumed to be natural causes.
In 2012, 56-year-old Byron Shull spiked the milk of his 84-year-old father with Visine drops “because he thought his dad was mean and wanted to make him pay.” Frank Shull nearly died as a result, spending one month in the hospital and another month in rehab.
In February 2013, a Pennsylvania court sentenced 33-year-old Vickie Jo Mills to two to four years in prison for putting eyedrops into her boyfriend’s drinking water 10 to 12 times, causing him to suffer from nausea, vomiting, blood pressure problems and breathing trouble before blood tests revealed the presence of tetrahydrozoline in his system. Mills said she wanted her boyfriend to pay more attention to her.
In March 2013, a 27-year-old mechanic named Shayne Carpenter was arrested in Grass Valley, California, for putting eye drops in his girlfriend’s drink after an argument with her, causing her to feel ill. The girlfriend later discovered that Carpenter had been texting his friends to boast about the eye drops prank and called the police on him.
I have 2 fourth graders, and this is really pushing past the boundary of a prank. I agree that ‘abundance of caution’ and zero tolerance is typically overblown, pointing finger guns, shaving your head for a sick friend, etc.
But having specific information about a life-threatening antibiotic allergy, and that if they put some antibiotics around they would ‘kill’ her is definitely something to be concerned with. The problem is that the kids really don’t want to kill her in a reality way, just in a mad way, but at that age they can’t grasp the understanding of real injury or death and that they can actually cause it. Fortunately, actual lethal weapons are very difficult for a 9 year old to get, unfortunately, antibiotics are not.
What is good is that the School is handling it internally, which means there is some tolerance and understanding there. In all reality, the teacher was likely allergic to the penicillin type antibiotics and the kids were going to use the hand sanitizer type, so her life was not actually in danger. And kids can come up with some really stupid shit that will get them in trouble, so I doubt the kids are psychopaths, it just was a really really stupid idea.
That’s not antibiotic. You need a prescription for those, so I guess the DEA foiled another Breaking Bad scenario.
I just remembered something. When I was that age, we had a song about murdering teachers - you know, the one that starts with Glory, Glory Halleluia? Even though we liked our teachers, we sang it anyway, because we were badass. I should probably be wearing a tracking bracelet even now, but my parents’ generation clearly cared nothing about safety.
Yeah, I know, it’s anti-bacterial. But allergies to hand-sanitizer are just dermatological, like rashes, not death. Antibiotic allergies however are deadly. It is easy for a 9 year old (or the media) to not know this. As I said, stupid plan.
What actually concerns me now is the possibility that someone could spike someone’s lunch with peanuts who is very allergic and kill them. I’m sure this happens, but it is really easy for a kid to do this without fully comprehending the consequences.
… until now.
The version I sang as an obviously troubled 4th grader:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school
We have tortured all the teachers - we have broken all the rules
We plan to hang the principal tomorrow afternoon,
And the brats keep marching on!
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Met her at the door with a loaded .44
And she ain’t my teacher no more!
Full disclosure: When I was six, “Eenie Meenie Miney Mo” was just something we babbled through to pick sides, and nothing more.
I disagree. Kids at that age come up with all kind of dark fantasy scenarios for teachers/schools/bullies etc, never really planning to carry them out. And as far as I know, these girls didn’t do anything to actually implement their nefarious plan. (I also disagree that kids that age don’t know the difference between real injury or that they can cause it.) If the kids actually brought something to school, actually tried to carry it out, that’s another matter of course.
I think the difference here may be that the “plots” seem personalized, but that’s because most kids don’t get to have a teacher who comes with her own personal Achilles heel. With knowledge of what amounts to teacher-kryptonite being basically given to them on a silver platter, what normal imaginative kid wouldn’t speculate on just how it could be used?
(At that age, if she was a mean teacher, I’d have probably not only “discussed”, but produced obsessively detailed drawings of her drowning in hand-sanitizer filled swimming pools, getting over-the-door-buckets of hand-sanitizer dumped on her head, brushing her teeth with toothpaste tubes filled with hand-sanitizer…)
Shit, I wanted to blow up my head of house in secondary school (she was a dead ringer for Thatcher mind, so it’s excusable).
That last one is from my hometown. O_O
This is why teachers must identify potential terrorists among first through fifth grade students.
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