A Hawaii preschool is at the center of heightened controversy after preschoolers were given Pine-Sol that was mistaken for apple juice. According to WSB-TV, on Tuesday, November 27, a teaching assistant at Kilohana United Methodist Church Preschool in Honolulu, Hawaii, was accused of giving the juice to three students.
It has been reported that the teaching assistant was preparing snacks for the children while they were in the restroom. She reportedly “mistook a container of yellow-brown liquid for apple juice found on a cleaning cart in the kitchen,” according to the health department’s review. Despite the teaching assistant’s alleged blunder, it is important to note that the liquid was stored in the original bottle which was properly labeled, “Pine Sol.”
“The liquid was in the original Pine-Sol container and proper labeled. All the food items in the kitchen are properly stored and labeled in the kitchen cabinets.”
The liquid was reportedly given to three little girls — ages 4 and 5. The children reportedly took sips of the liquid before the teacher noticed the odd smell and realized it wasn’t apple juice. She immediately stopped the children from drinking.
Almost immediately after the discovery, paramedics were called to the school to examine the children. The children reportedly had no symptoms of trauma and were not transported to a hospital. However, the school is still at the center of serious scrutiny.
In wake of the latest controversy, Kilohana United Methodist Church Preschool has released a statement addressing the incident in a written letter to parents.
“Only sips were taken before the lead teacher realized the liquid was not apple juice,” the preschool said. “The staff responded immediately by calling EMS and police. The children’s parents were immediately notified as well.”
Now, preschool staff will reportedly have to undergo mandatory training. The school also noted that it would be “scrutinizing the process of obtaining snacks and refreshments to rule out the smallest possibility of an occurrence like this from happening again.”
Although the school has assured parents that the situation was taken care of and no students were injured, parents are still in a state of shock. In fact, one parent, Andrea Ganote, recently shared her reaction to the incident when she was interviewed by a local news outlet. She admitted she was “stunned, absolutely stunned.”
“My first reaction was wondering why they would store the two in the same part of the building,” Ganote said.
Right now, none of the teachers have been charged or accused of malicious intent. Since the incident has been considered an accident, the teaching assistant likely will not face charges.