Michigan student won't be charged in Visine poisoning

Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:12pm EDT

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(Reuters) - No charges will be filed against a Michigan high school student who was accused of sickening a teacher by putting Visine eye solution in her coffee, a prosecutor said on Saturday.

Police in Fowlerville, Michigan, had recommended felony charges of tampering with a food or drink product be filed against the Fowlerville High School student, who school officials said made an algebra teacher very ill by placing Visine in her coffee for several days in mid-May.

The student, not identified because he is under 18, was suspended for a full school year, Fowlerville Community Schools Superintendent Wayne Roedel said after the incident.

Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt, Jr. said there was not enough evidence to charge the student, even though the school district found reason to suspend him.

“The administrative standards governing decisions by schools to impose discipline are different than the stricter constitutional and legal standards that apply to criminal cases,” Vailliencourt said.

Roedel said earlier that the motive for the tampering was unknown but that the student may have seen the Visine added to a drink as a practical joke in movies. The adding of eye drops to a drink in the 2005 movie comedy "Wedding Crashers" was seen to cause vomiting.

Visine has the ingredient Tetrahydrozoline, which the National Institutes of Health has said can, if ingested, cause low body temperature, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and other symptoms. The Visine label urges consumers to get immediate medical attention or go to a poison control center if the product is swallowed.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Dan Grebler)

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