A police investigation into allegations that an Atlanta teacher shared pot-laced brownies that sickened two students and an adult won't result in criminal charges because all the evidence was gobbled up.
The special education teacher who brought the suspicious treats to South Atlanta High School resigned a few days after the Nov. 30 incident citing “medical concerns.” This week, the school board formally accepted the staffing report that included his resignation.
Atlanta Public Schools police tried to hash out the mystery -- described in one document as the “brownie/snack incident” -- but couldn’t make a case because the biggest clue had been consumed.
While the criminal investigation led to a dead end, the district’s human resources department is still investigating, said APS spokesman Seth Coleman. That review is to determine if any violations took place that need to be reported to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which certifies educators.
The teacher acknowledged in a written statement that he brought brownies and a coconut cake, leftovers from Thanksgiving dessert, to school and shared them with several students.
Then, things got weird.
A couple students complained to another teacher that they weren’t feeling well, according to records obtained this week by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Two students had blurry eyes; a teacher reported one of them was resting his head on a computer.
A sign language interpreter working in an algebra classroom also said he took a brownie. The interpreter said the former teacher told him he baked the treats himself.
After eating the treat, the interpreter said he started to feel sick.
“Within a few minutes, I felt that I was coming under the influence of something that had been in the brownie,” he wrote in a statement.
He recounted a harrowing next three and a half hours: violent vomiting, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, loss of muscle control, difficulty standing and walking, and “an inability to distinguish between what was actually happening and what I imagined was happening.”
A witness described seeing the interpreter in his office, looking sick and leaning over a garbage can.
The interpreter said he was driven home that Friday, arrived around 6 p.m. and slept until morning.
On the following Monday, he said he visited his physician who drug-screened his urine and found it positive for marijuana.
The mother of one of the sickened students got a text from her daughter asking to be picked up from school early. The student told her mom she felt dizzy and suffered other unpleasant symptoms. Her daughter “could barely stand” and slept the entire day, read the mother’s statement.
The brownie-sharing teacher had worked for APS since 2012. He could not be reached for comment. Several phone numbers listed to a man with the same name were not in service.
In his statement, the former teacher said he ate one of the brownies he brought and did not experience any side effects, other than a sugar rush.
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