Teacher target of alleged peanut threat

April 23, 2004 at 10:41 AM
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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J., April 23 (UPI) -- A sixth-grade boy has been suspended from school for allegedly threatening a peanut-allergic teacher with a package of peanut butter cookies.

Officials at South Orange Middle School said the 12-year-old boy was barred from school for more than two weeks after he allegedly waved a package of Nutter Butter cookies, which contain peanut butter, in the classroom of social studies teacher Carolina Pew.

Pew made it clear early in the school year that she is severely allergic to peanuts and the legumes were banned from her classroom.

School officials said nine students in the class said the boy -- after the teacher left the room momentarily -- said the teacher better not mess with him because he had a "deadly weapon." The students told Pew of the alleged incident when she returned and the boy was sent to the principal's office.

The boy's father claims the threat was made up by students who have an ax to grind with the suspended boy, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. The father said the boy was just reading the package ingredients and not waving the cookies around.

A school district official told the newspaper the boy will likely be transferred out of Pew's class.

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