Society

Students Poison Teacher With Cleaning Solution (Photo)

| by Michael Howard

Officials at a middle school in North Carolina confirmed that students put cleaning solution in a teacher's drink, which made the teacher sick.

Jeffrey Jennings, who teaches seventh-grade science at East Lee Middle School in Sanford, suddenly became nauseous while teaching a class on March 28. According to his wife, Marie, he also developed a headache and had to leave school to visit an urgent care center, WRAL reports.

"The headache and the [nausea] was the worst thing, and then later that evening, he had the abdominal pain, which he ended up at Moore Regional [Hospital] the next day for," Marie explained.

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Afterwards, a fellow teacher reportedly told Jennings she had been informed by some students that two other students added dry-erase board cleaner to his soda when he wasn't looking.

"They had actually taken it off the desk, opened the cap, poured the Expo cleaner, put the cap back on and put it back on his desk," Marie said.

Jennings -- who is prohibited by school policy from talking to the media about the case -- was reportedly sick for at least three days and had misgivings about returning to work, knowing that some of his students had deliberately caused him harm.

"He has to go back and face these kids every day," his wife said.

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She added that, in her and her husband's view, authorities have an obligation to discipline the offending students. Otherwise they fear that something similar could happen in the future.

"If these two kids don't face any kind of accountability, is someone else going to try and do this to him?" she asked. "Is he going to be the teacher that, 'Oh, nothing happens when you mess with him, so pretty much do what you want?' That worries me."

A police investigation of the incident determined that a student did in fact tamper with Jeffrey's drink. However, they said the board cleaning solution was not toxic.

"The principal responded immediately when notified of the matter shortly after it occurred, including taking steps to ensure the teacher’s health and alerting the proper authorities," the Lee County school district said in a statement, reports WNCN. "The district takes this incident very seriously, and investigation by appropriate school officials continues."

Officials didn't say whether the students would be punished for their actions, as state law does not allow them to disclose details about an ongoing investigation, according to WRAL.

Sources: WRAL, WNCN / Photo credit: Jenn Vargas/Flickr, WRAL via The Blaze

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