The Livingston County, Michigan prosecutor decided today not to file charge against a student accused of adding poison to a teacher’s drink. According to Livingston Daily, a, 17-year old Fowlerville High School student was suspended for 180 days when it was discovered he had been poisoning a teacher by placing Visine in her coffee.
Wayne Roedel, superintendent of the Fowlerville Community Schools, told Reuters the student, who is under 18 and was not being named, was accused of putting Visine in algebra teacher Mary Aldecoa’s coffee over several days in mid-May. She became sick and has been unable to return to school.`Mrs. Aldecoa said she had stomach pains, headaches and was barely able to get up from her couch on many occasions. The symptoms were so serious she missed school for a few days. Aldecoa felt better so returned to school only to become sick again. Aldecoa told USA Today,
“I couldn’t move off the couch. I started feeling better, and I went back to school… and the same thing happened — I’d get really ill.”
When the symptoms first came up for the teacher she believed she had eaten some tainted red meat that, at the time, had made headlines. However, she then received a frightening call from administrators from the school saying they believed she had been poisoned by one of the students.
School administrators were made aware of the possible poisoning after a “casual conversation” during lunchtime with other students. The students mentioned that a male student at the school was placing Visine in the teacher’s coffee each morning. The name of the student was mentioned and school administrators investigated the issue the same day. They initially suspended the boy for 10-days but then increased the suspencion to 180-days due to the severity of the incident.
However, today, prosecutors decided not to bring any charges against the student noting:
“While the Fowlerville Community Schools was able to take disciplinary action, the administrative standards governing decisions by schools to impose discipline are different from the stricter Constitutional and legal standards that apply to criminal cases.”
In other words, they don’t have a solid enough case to bring the student to court on tampering charges. However, many believe it is due to the fact that the kid most likely was just pulling a “prank” he saw on the Wedding Crashers movie and heard through Urban Legend. In the movie, eye drops are placed into a beverage and make the victim vomit. This is not the first time Visine has been used to poison another individual. A mom was accused of poisoning toddlers with Visine eye drops. The incidents were also becoming so severe that experts started warning of the dangers of Visine noting that “the common prank can turn deadly.”
The Visine prank is so common it even has a page on Urban Legend site, Snopes.
The question still remains, why were no charges filed when the prank could have turned deadly? If the teacher was so sick she was absent from school and in severe pain, only to return to have the student poison her yet again, wouldn’t the student have realized the prank had gone too far? What do you think should have happened to the teen? Is a suspension enough or should charges have been filed?