Monday, 21 Apr, 2008 Current Events

An eighth-grader boy charged of felony wanton endangerment


An eighth-grader (13 years old) from Morton Middle School is accused in putting crumbled cookies, made of peanut butter, into the lunch box of another eight-grader, suffering from severe peanuts allergy.

Even though the boy did not eat the cookies and did not suffer a reaction, medics claim that a small amount of peanut oil could lead to very severe reactions and in some cases even death. Among the possible symptoms of such a reaction medics list welts, hives and swelling, which can lead to restricting airways. A 13-year-old Australian boy, who died earlier this month at a school camp due to an allergic reaction to peanuts, has demonstrated the seriousness of allergy to peanuts.

A press release of the school's representatives informed that there were letters sent to the parents of the accused student notifying them about the incident.

According to Lisa Deffendall, the Fayette Schools spokeswoman, said that the incident occurred on Thursday on the running track of the school. As the lunch time neared, one of the students was seen putting the crumbled peanut butter cookies into the allergic student's lunch box.

Defendall added that it was a well known fact that the other student was heavily allergic to products, containing peanuts' oil. She also added that there were no reported cases of any conflicts between the two involved students.

After the investigation was over the student was arrested with charges of felony wanton endangerment and was suspended from classes.

Defendall said that according to the US law the student will be charged in the juvenile criminal justice system. She could not give any comments on any specific actions against the student and added that he could be expelled from school only in case the board decided so.

One of the parents of a Morton eighth-grader, who was not involved in the incident, expressed his sympathy with the parents of the accused students, thought supporting the school's administration in dealing with this case.

Tom Fielder said that he agreed with the charges, because the student was aware of the fact that his actions could lead to a lethal outcome. Fielder added that it was well known that students were not allowed to bring such products to school.

Today schools do not have strict policies concerning food allergies, thus schools with students suffering from them have to work on policies protecting allergic students.

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