7th Graders' Banana Prank Could Have Killed Teacher

Columbus, Ohio, teacher has severe banana allergy
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2019 11:54 AM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2019 2:30 PM CDT
7th Graders' Prank on Teacher Could Have Killed Her
   (Getty Images)

It was a prank. But that's not how a Columbus City Schools security officer characterized the incident to responding police in the Ohio city: It "could be attempted murder." The November incident, in which 7th graders caused a teacher to go into anaphylactic shock by exposing her to bananas, is just now being reported by way of ABC 6, which has been investigating Columbus City School teachers' safety concerns and working conditions. It reports that it was well known that the art teacher at Starling K-8 school has an extreme allergy to bananas: Signs outside her room deem it a "Banana-Free Zone"; another sign directs students who have consumed one to wash their hands.

But three middle-schoolers, ages 12 and 13, reportedly smeared banana on her door and doorknob and even threw them at her during a lunch period. Within 15 minutes she was in anaphylactic shock and taken to a hospital. She recovered, and the students were sentenced to probation in juvenile court. Medical News Today reports banana allergies are rare but explains the proteins in the fruit are similar to those in latex. In other recent allergy news, a tragic story out of the UK was reported last week: In June, a father gave his son a few squares of chocolate, thinking they were dairy-free. They were actually gluten-free but did contain dairy; the 11-year-old died after consuming what the Manchester Evening News reports was a "very small piece." (More allergies stories.)

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