A "prank" by a group of middle-schoolers almost turned deadly for a Columbus art teacher. The teacher has a well-documented allergy to bananas and the entire student body was reportedly aware of her allergy. She has signs posted outside her classroom door declaring her room a "Banana Free Zone" and warning any student who has eaten or even touched a banana during the day to wash their hands before entering.
Three students, a 12-year-old girl, and two 13-year-old boys, reportedly decided to play a "prank" on their teacher, Mrs. Woods, by smearing mashed banana on the doorknob to her classroom and then pelting her with bananas once inside despite knowing that the teacher has a deadly allergy to the food. Within 15 minutes, the teacher had gone into anaphylactic shock, ABC 6 reports.
A group of middle schoolers reportedly used a Columbus art teacher's banana allergy against her, smearing banana on the door knob and throwing it at her.— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) July 29, 2019
She had to be rushed to the hospital due to anaphylactic shock https://t.co/UJQdfQRnsG
The news station reports that body cam video shows a school security officer speaking to police about what had transpired. "That could be attempted murder," the Columbus City Schools (CCS) security officer can be heard saying. "All of the kids know she's deathly allergic to bananas," he added. "If it touches her, she will go into anaphylactic shock."
The security officer recounted watching the teacher as she went into anaphylactic shock.
"She starts to change colors," he said. "They gave her one EpiPen; It wasn't working. They gave her another EpiPen (and) her throat was starting to close up."
Thankfully the teacher was able to fully recover once she was transported to the hospital. The scary incident happened this past November but was only recently publicized after it was discovered by ABC 6's Scoring Our Schools team. The purpose of the team is to fight for better working conditions for Columbus City School teachers, and educator complaints about safety at schools.
ABC 6 reports that all three students were sentenced to probation through juvenile court, but the case only highlights the importance of food safety in schools, as well as the increase in assaults teachers in the area, have been facing. Columbus Police say there have been more than 30 cases of felonious assaults on teachers since January. Hundreds of teachers with Columbus City Schools recently marched as they continue contract negotiations with the school board.