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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Attack of the peanut butter caper

The other morning, Diane mentioned this story during her news segment on Elliot in the Morning. Like Elliot, I'm surprised it only resulted in a misdemeanor charge.

At Wenatchee High School, 19 yr old Joshua Hickson overheard during lunch that a fellow student had severe peanut allergies. He decided it would be a good idea to take someones peanut butter and jelly sandwich and wipe the contents across the poor kid's forehead - not once, but twice. Ya know, to make sure he was significantly covered in the potentially deadly substance. Apparently he heard of the allergy, got the peanut butter and smeared it on the kid. The kid said "hey, jackass, I'm allergic to peanuts, so don't do that" (my words, but I'm sure it mirrors the kid's sentiment). That made Joshua get MORE peanut butter and smear it on the boy. What a nice, upstanding young man Joshua must be!

Luckily, the kid was fine. His parents didn't want to press any charges (which I totally don't get), but both he and the school wanted something done about it, so the police have charged Joshua with a misdemeanor. He faces up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. He admitted smearing the PB & J on the victim when questioned by police, but said he "didn't think anything would happen." I have to throw my bullshit flag on that one. Joshy boy overhears that a classmate has SEVERE peanut allergies, and decides to smear peanut butter on him. He's told by the kid not to do that because it could be bad, and he does it again. How could he not think anything was going to happen? I don't think he believed it would kill the kid or anything, but I bet he was thinking (hoping?) the kid's face would puff up or something. Idiotic 19 year old. I think he's lucky he's only being charged with a misdemeanor.

What's more interesting is this isn't the first incident of an attack by peanuts. In Kentucky, an 8th grader was charged with felony assault for putting the crumbs of peanut butter cookies in a kid's lunch box. In Ohio, a woman was charged with assault for hurling peanuts at a dude that she knew was allergic to them. In 2007, the Rhode Island state legislature passed a law that says schools must post signs in the cafeteria and at school entrances that state a student is allergic to peanuts. Schools aren't allowed to sell peanuts, and there must be peanut-free lunch tables and peanut-free classrooms. Damn... peanut allergies aren't anything to fuck around with. Wasn't there that story a while back of some Canadian who died from kissing someone who had recently eaten a peanut product? Scary stuff.

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