A Colorado Springs high school student could be facing criminal charges after allegedly pulling a prank in the school cafeteria. According to a KDOR-13.com report, police cited the student with reckless endangerment and interference with staff, faculty or students of an educational institution. Both charges are class 3 misdemeanors, which are punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
The Vista Ridge High School student allegedly put Visine in a large container of ranch dressing in the school’s cafeteria. A spokesperson for the school district, Stephanie Wurtz, reported that 20 students felt nauseous after eating the dressing and were sent home. Wurtz also explained that Visine could cause dizziness and nausea if consumed in large quantities, but no one was sure how much of the substance was used.
The student maintains that it was only a joke, and that there was only water in the small bottle other students saw him use. Nevertheless, school officials responded quickly, and summoned police and paramedics as a precaution.
After the Columbine tragedy and the recent Aurora movie theater shooting, police officers and school administrators take school safety very seriously. While this instance may turn out to be a common school prank, it is an important reminder that some actions (even purely made in jest) may have criminal consequences.
In these instances, it is important for students charged with crimes in Colorado to seek legal counsel so that they understand their legal rights and options, as well as the potential effect on their futures. Criminal records could affect a student’s opportunities to obtain scholarships, qualify for housing or even be accepted to college.