A 12-year-old girl from Florida, upset about being disciplined, allegedly schemed with two accomplices to get back at their teacher: they poisoned her.
After drinking Mountain Dew spiked with red pepper flakes, the 52-year-old woman, Jayne Morgan, has reportedly recovered, though the incident caused a temporary spike in her blood pressure and gave her stomach pains for the entire day.
The incident hasn’t gone unpunished. All three girls are facing felony charges after they allegedly poisoned their teacher, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The three girls all attend Delton Middle School in Volusia County, Florida, and are students of Morgan, a language arts and English for non-native speakers teacher.
She was poisoned Tuesday, but the incident wasn’t reported to police until Thursday. An investigation was launched at that time, and the girls’ plan uncovered. They were arrested Friday, NBC News reported.
The girls poisoned her as retaliation for punishing the apparent ring leader of the plan. On Monday, Morgan sent the student to the principal’s office for two alleged offenses: pouring glue in a classmate’s backpack and stealing a laptop.
To punish Jayne, the child wanted to “vandalize her car with paint,” but her friend advised against it. So, the girl came up with a new plan. She went home, got some red pepper flakes, and schemed to pour them into the teacher’s drink the next day.
Each student played her part. Evidently, the girl who’d been punished convinced her classmates to carry out her plan: one friend acted as a decoy while the other actually poisoned the soda. According to WESH, in second period on Tuesday, one of the children distracted the teacher while a second snatched her open soda can and took it to her desk. She then gave the crushed red pepper flakes to the third student, who poured it in.
The effect was immediate. With the first sip, the poisoned woman’s throat became “hot and scratchy,” and she experienced shortness of breath, WESH described. According to the Sentinel, the Florida teacher also felt her throat constrict. She discovered the flakes when she poured the drink into a clear plastic cup.
The woman went to the school nurse, who registered an usually high blood pressure, but it lowered after about 15 minutes. Her sore throat and stomach ache lasted the rest of the day.
The children are now in a juvenile detention center. In their arrest report, Florida police said they poisoned her “in retaliation for the teacher upholding her duties and responsibilities as a teacher, maintaining control of her classroom and attempting to protect the other children from [the first student’s] unacceptable behavior.”
As for Morgan, she said the school has been supportive, but reports vary on whether or not she wanted the three kids arrested. She told WESH that she only wanted a lesson learned.
“I want them to have a consequence that teaches them a lesson. I did not want them to be arrested and go to jail. I love my students. They broke my heart. My career won’t be the same.”
The girls will be disciplined internally, but the criminal charges against them are very serious. In Florida, it’s illegal to add “poison, bacterium, radioactive material, virus, or chemical compound” to food or drinks with the intent of killing or hurting another person. A “poison” is any substance that disrupts normal bodily function when it’s “swallowed, inhaled, injected, or absorbed.”
The decoy has been charged with tampering with consumer products and being a principal to poisoning food or water. The other two are charged with poisoning food or water and tampering with consumer products. In Florida, these charges are all felonies.
[Image via Gergely Zsolnai/Shutterstock]