Three Pennsylvania teenagers plotted to have a fellow classmate come into contact with pineapple, even though everyone knew that the student had a severe allergy. Now, the teens who carried it out are face criminal charges.
According to the Associated Press, Butler police claimed that three girls, two aged 14 and one 13, decided to bring pineapple in a fruit cup to school in order to intentionally expose the student to it last December.Screenshot/WPXI
WPXI reports that, according to Butler Township Police Lt. Matt Pearson, the students had been planning to do this with a fruit cup containing pineapple brought from home in a bagged lunch.
“This was an intentional act. They sat at the lunch table right next to her and talked about doing it. Some had reservations, but they went through with it.”
The teens high-fived other students in the lunchroom until one of the 14-year-olds reached the intended victim, after soaking her hand in the juice from the pineapple cup. Police said that it was well-known throughout the school that this girl had a pineapple allergy.
According to WPXI:
The district has a plan in place, all students have been educated on it and pineapple is not allowed on the menu.
After the girl was high-fived, she went into anaphylactic shock and was rushed to the hospital. She made a full recovery.
According to KDKA, police consider the incident to be “an aggravated assault.”
“My understanding is she could go into anaphylactic shock and, if not properly and quickly treated, could die.”
In an interview with KDKA, Dr. Allison Freeman, an Allergist-Immunologist at Allegheny Health Network, said that “food allergy bullying” is becoming increasingly more common in schools.
“It’s definitely something schools need to be talking about. It’s no joke and putting a little bit of peanut butter on the keyboard to hurt somebody is a potentially deadly thing.”
KDKA reports that the Butler School District released a statement regarding the incident:
As with all student discipline issues, we are unable to provide a comment on the specific incident. However, it is our expectation that our students respect themselves and others. When that does not occur, the district will take appropriate disciplinary action and, if appropriate, contact law enforcement.
WPXI reports that the 14-year-old who high-fived the victim has been charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment, and disorderly conduct. The two other students involved were charged with criminal conspiracy, reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct.
According to a WPXI report, another student overheard the students’ plot against their victim and reported it immediately, so the victim was able to get the care she needed quickly.
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