5 students charged in cookie poisoning Incident reported at Annapolis Middle

November 05, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer Staff writer David Michael Ettlin contributed to this article.

Five Annapolis Middle School students were charged with food poisoning after serving a batch of just-baked cookies sprinkled with liquid dish detergent to the principal, a teacher and some fellow students.

The eighth-graders, apparently dissatisfied with how their home economics class assignment had turned out, decided to squirt dish washing liquid on the cookies and offer them to unsuspecting students and teachers, officials said.

"One of the students thought that if they swallowed the tainted cookies, bubbles would come from the mouths of the people that ate them," Anne Arundel County Lt. Ray A. Pearson said.

Principal Kevin I. Dennehy accepted an offer to sample one of the soapy snacks.

"If it was a joke, it was a bad joke," Mr. Dennehy said last night, recalling that he spit the cookie out his mouth as the students walked down the hall.

The students were charged as juveniles and released to their parents.

The 43-year-old principal said that all of the students will remain suspended pending a school district investigation.

"No one was hurt, and I don't think they intended to hurt anyone," he said. "But they're learning a hard lesson."

The students were baking biscuits, tarts, cookies and sausages in a mid-morning home economics class yesterday when they decided they were unimpressed with their culinary acumen, Mr. Dennehy said.

Four of the students watched as their classmate "topped" a collection of the baked goods. A student who came into class late was the first person to taste the soap-laden cookies, Mr. Dennehy said.

"He asked if he could have one of the cookies, and they told him, 'Sure,' " Mr. Dennehy said. "He spit the whole thing out."

When class was over, Mr. Dennehy and teacher Mary T. Poisson were approached in the hallway; each took a cookie and could barely make it through one bite.

"I wondered whether they had forgotten to wash the baking pans," Mr. Dennehy said.

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