Thursday, August 26, 2004

Attempted Poisoning of Teacher Goes Unpunished

As reported by The Imperial Valley Press, back in June of this year, three male fifth grade students allegedly attempted to poison their teacher by adding a substance to the teacher's coffee. The deed was done in the normally sleepy little California town known as El Centro.

Finally, nearly three months after the fact, it has been determined that the boys will not face formal charges for their misdeed.

Now El Centro is a town of about 38,000 people that is located, literally, in the center of an agricultural area called The Imperial Valley. This is the place where a number of well-to-do farmers have been attempting (for years) to sell their federally subsidized water to the highest bidder for substantial personal gain. (The EdWonk wishes that the Federal Government would give him some water that he could sell to some thirsty coastal town for personal gain.)

Like most small towns, one's last name often means the difference between prosecution for criminal behavior and the proverbial "slap on the wrist."

To return to our story, it is said that one of the youngsters brought the substance to school, another held onto it, and a third actually placed the stuff in the unsuspecting teacher's coffee. Being kids, they couldn't resist telling their tale to school mates and so were found out. As an excuse for their misbehavior, the boys indicated that the teacher had been saying, according to the Press, "Negative remarks" to them.

Fortunately for our coffee-drinking teacher, the substance that was used is the material that is put into aspirin bottles to keep the pills nice and dry. It looks like something Lucrecia Borgia might have used, but it is actually harmless. The teacher was, however, hospitalized just to be on the safe side.

Naturally, many teachers are upset over the outcome of this episode. The lesson that school administrators want teachers to infer from this sorry escapade is this: "Coffee in the morning, teacher take warning." The administrative viewpoint is that the teacher was the cause of this episode because he was drinking coffee in his classroom. The EdWonk is certain that school administrators would not give up their morning coffee in the office.

Regardless of outcome, the boys should have been prosecuted, but were not. Somewhere in El Centro California there is an assistant district attorney that is in serious need of being Educated.