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Michigan teacher sickened by coffee; student suspended


According to the Detroit Free Press on May 30, a Fowlerville High School student will not be allowed back in school for one year after using Visine to spike a teacher’s coffee.

High school algebra teacher, Mary Aldecoa, told the Detroit Free Press that she believes the student tried to poison her. Aldecoa, a Fowlerville teacher for 24 years, states that she believes the alleged poisoning occurred over a five-day period. This period began around May 12 and left her with severe stomach pains and severe headaches. These symptoms kept Mary out of school since May 15.

Aldecoa discusses how she was unable to move from her couch and it was very upsetting. At one point Mary tried going back to work, but she began to feel severely ill again and returned home. At first Mary thought she had received food poisoning from some red meat she had purchased and consumed. It was at that point Aldecoa received a phone call from the school administrators that were trying to pin point the rumors regarding a student poisoning the teacher’s coffee.

Wayne Roedel, Fowlerville School Superintendent, was unable to name the student but was able to state that the individual was initially suspended for a ten day period until the disciplinary hearing the with Board of Education. On Wednesday the board extended that suspension to 180 days.

Principal Bradford Lusk had learned about the student placing the Visine in the teacher’s coffee or water through lunchtime conversations. Once he overheard the individuals name he launched an investigation, which wrapped by day’s end.

Visine, used to treat red and irritated eyes can lead to a variety of effects if taken internally. Some of these side effects include difficulty in breathing, lower body temperatures, irritability, dilated pupils, blurred vision, vomiting, nausea, rapid increase and decrease in blood pressure, tremors, respiratory failure, seizures and the risk of going into a coma. The active ingredient is glycerin.

Mary hopes the student understands just how horrible and dangerous the poisoning was. The action is not acceptable. Chief Tom Couling of the Fowlerville Police Department stated there is an open investigation and he hopes to prevent the findings to the prosecutor’s office today, if not, than next week.

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