Do We Really Know the Muffin Man?

Muffins
Surveillance video from Lake Highlands High School showing muffin delivery.

By Sharon K. Gilbert
May 24, 2006

MAYBE I'm just a leftover from paleo-education days, but when did it become dangerous for teachers to consume baked goods delivered by a student?

May has brought us two such floury tales, one out of Maine, and the other from Dallas, Texas. Let's examine these stories and try to discern if there's more in the mix.

Back in early May, a woman from Showegan, Maine hatched a plot to enact revenge on a Carrabec Community School teacher for dispensing a low grade. Julie Hunt, 43, had shown her daughter and a friend how to crush up Ex-Lax pills so they could be added to a batch of cookies.

The two girls, 13 and 14, used an entire box in the sweet treats and delivered the goodies to the unknowing teacher. Although the girls were not arrested, they did receive a suspension, while the mother's probation from a previous charge was revoked, and the woman landed in jail.

Similarly, one or possibly two people devised a cunning plan to sicken an entire lounge-ful of teachers in northeast Dallas. This time, THC (the potent chemical found in marijuana) was used to contaminate a batch of muffins.

Lake Highlands High School surveillance cameras caught the delivery man (a youth from a nearby school, Bishop Lynch High School) as he asked for directions. The youth claimed the muffin delivery was part of an 'Eagle Scout project'. Eighteen school employees fell ill as a result.

Here's where it gets even more interesting. The very next day in Dallas, May 17th, the very same school (Lake Highlands High) had to evacuate classes for a second time in two days, when a 'blown transformer left the school in the dark'.

Now, these stories could be totally unrelated, or perhaps they're all part of the deafening drumbeat that our schools just aren't safe enough.

Think about your own school. When you visit, are you asked your business? Or can you wander about without being stopped. Could tainted baked goods, candy, flowers, or other gifts find their way into your child's classroom? Do students and employees wear ID badges? If asked to register at the office, are you asked for an ID? Who is driving your child's bus?

It's nauseating to consider the possible scenarios, isn't it? Yet, the alternative is to clamp down on freedoms so tightly that our constitution is crushed. As stories like the ones I've mentioned continue to pop up, lawmakers will have to face a nation of worried parents demanding action — legislative action.

So, next time you hear about tainted chocolate chip cookies, think about an even more insidious chip – RFID. It's coming. And when it does, it will probably be received with open arms.