Poor Jane Miller, math teacher in Newport News, Virginia. Ms. Miller was allegedly poisoned by two of her students -- something she never suspected would ever happen to her. Two 13-year-olds have confessed to putting hand sanitizer into her tea at least twice. Ms. Miller couldn't taste the difference. All she knew is that she had some terrible stomach pains all of a sudden and had to see a doctor.
Ms. Miller has been teaching youth for 40 years -- and this is the thanks she gets! It may have been a funny prank to the students, but she almost couldn't believe it. The 66-year-old to ABC News, "I was shocked, and I couldn't quite process it fast enough to realize what it meant." What it meant? It meant she had a couple of heartless delinquents in her classroom!
Miller's pain was severe enough that she had to be treated by a doctor. She was also feeling nauseated, running a low fever, and felt unusually exhausted at the end of the day. And yes, if you ingest enough, hand sanitizer can kill you. A Special Victims unit of the local police did a thorough investigation at the school to find out how she was being poisoned.
I don't know what those kids were thinking at the time -- they probably weren't thinking at all. And maybe they didn't realize how much harm they were causing. Maybe they didn't care. But the police are taking this matter very seriously. The kids will probably be suspended (they're going to different schools now). And they face charges for attempted poisoning. For an adult, that means a minimum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. But as juveniles, they would face a lighter sentence.
Anyway, I hate hearing that a teacher has been treated this way. What Ms. Miller has to say about the whole thing just breaks my heart. "It's hard to get into an adolescent's mind," she said. "The class I teach was math review, and a lot of them aren't too keen on math and they don't really want to be there." Good Lord! Even after that horrible abuse, she's still just trying to empathize with her students and understand. She doesn't even seem angry. She wants us to appreciate teachers more and understand that they're here to help kids. I think if I were her, my feelings would be hurt terribly. Oh Ms. Miller, you did not deserve this at all.
Would you continue teaching if this happened to you?
Image via ABC News