Student Prank Nearly Kills Columbus Middle School Teacher

Three students smeared bananas on a door and threw them at their art teacher, who they knew was deathly allergic to the fruit.

Student Prank Nearly Kills Columbus Middle School Teacher

The art teacher made it clear to the school that she was seriously allergic to bananas.

A middle school art teacher in Columbus, Ohio, was rushed to the hospital last November after her students played a prank on her.

The teacher had a serious allergy to bananas, a fact known to the entire school, reports ABC 6. Signs were posted around her classroom, stating, “Banana Free Zone” and instructing students to wash their hands if they were around the fruit.

“That could be attempted murder,” a Columbus City Schools security officer told the police. “All of the kids know she’s deathly allergic to bananas. If it touches her, she will go into anaphylactic shock.”

According to the officer, three seventh-graders smeared banana on the teacher’s door and doorknob and threw them at her inside her classroom. She went into anaphylactic shock within 15 minutes.

“She starts to change colors,” said the security staffer. “They gave her one EpiPen; it wasn’t working. They gave her another EpiPen (and) her throat was starting to close up.”

The teacher was rushed to the hospital where she recovered.

The prank was uncovered by ABC 6’s Scoring Our Schools team who are looking to fight for better working conditions for Columbus City School teachers.

All three students were charged with assault in the juvenile court system, served probation and were transferred to other schools.

“It is our hope that this was a teachable moment for the children involved and for our entire school community on the potentially life-threatening consequences of food allergies,” said Scott Wortman, chief communications officer of Columbus City Schools.

Columbus Police said assaults on teachers have increased in 2019 with more than 30 cases since January.

In 2017, officers responded to 65 felonious assaults, which had tripled from the year before.

Teachers said they are fighting for better working conditions and an alternative plan to discipline troubled students.

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About the Author


Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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One response to “Student Prank Nearly Kills Columbus Middle School Teacher”

  1. Keith Hatcher says:

    Why is this referred to as a “prank”? Using this verbiage diminishes the actual severity of this offense. Pranks are practical jokes or mischievous acts that typically don’t harm anyone physically. This offense goes well beyond that. We presently have a cultural trend of disrespect for educators and the education profession. Words are meaningful and this teacher almost died from a blatant act of disrespect and malice. Keeping this in mind, I would suggest a rewrite that substitutes the word “attack” in the place of “prank” to portray this incident more accurately.

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