Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Chloroforming Students

teacher arrestedRegardless of how "energetic" some kids may be, it should be a no-brainer for a teacher to realize that it's not OK to give chloroform to your students. Authorities believe that a chemistry teacher at Livingston High School in the Merced, Calif., area was trying to help students get high when she aided them in inhaling chloroform.

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Chemistry teacher Japhia Smith Huhndorf, 34, of nearby Atwater, was arrested on Monday for allegedly helping three male students, 16, 17 and 18 years old, ingest the chemical by inhaling it from a towel. Chloroform is used in schools to preserve tissue, but elsewhere it can be used as an anesthetic.

It was no surprise that she was arrested on suspicion of three counts of felony child endangerment for this particular incident, but what did come as a shock was what Sgt. Ray Fong of the Livingston Police Department told the Merced Sun Star: There were at least three similar incidents involving Huhndorf over the past five months.

Both students and parents told reporters that they were shocked to hear that Huhndorf had acted this way. Apparently, she was a very popular staff member and the label on her picture in the school yearbook shows that she was voted the "Most Spirited Teacher." Now, perhaps, we know why.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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Chem teacher

As a chemistry teacher, and assuming the "facts" in this story are true, I find this woman to have SERIOUS issues with not only professional judgement, but also moral judgement. I cannot fathom how any person, especially a trained professional, would think this would be appropriate or acceptable. Unfortunately, I think there are a relatively small number of teachers out there who push the limits with demos/experiments in order to entertain their students and help keep them interested in the subject. While my class might not be as exciting, I have never had a student injured during a lab (at least aside from a minor burn due to a student not following covered safety precautions). Safety is #1...not being "cool." Thankfully, the vast majority of chemistry teachers understand that and DO have common sense. Don't be ignorant and lump all of us in with this bad example. This is ONE example out of thousands of chemistry teachers nationwide. And Sheila, attempted murder? That's a little extreme...maybe reckless endangerment would be more appropriate. But I do agree that she should lose her teaching certificate (if story is true) and should serve some sort of jail sentence.

June 18 2011 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sheila McDaniel Mirj

This is the most absurd teaching practice I have ever heard of! She should be facing multiple counts of attempted murder; furthermore, lets put a screeching halt to the"PRETTY TEACHER DEFENSE", IT'S RIDICULOUS ANYWAY YOU LOOK AT IT! Lock her up and throw away the keys. It is truly that simple!

June 12 2011 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
armybabygrl

That will teach the little vermits.

June 11 2011 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Reciprocity

it must be Bush's fault.

June 06 2011 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sistagirl Young

Besides we were merely re-enacting the experiment to ascertain with certitude that there was legitamacy.

June 05 2011 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sistagirl Young

Look, once you have "their" attention it's easier to communicate.

June 05 2011 at 5:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Cindie

Waterboard them.

May 25 2011 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
luvprr

People on the West Coast do have a different take on things--including educational practices too it seems.

May 25 2011 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
powderman33

It's a pitty that nowdays a lot of teacher's are like the so called president( no common sense)

May 25 2011 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dlee4144

When I graduated from college in the 60s, teachers were admired and the military were called "slobs" and "thugs". Now it's the other way around. I had my choice of 3 teaching positions, two in affluent areas, one in East Saint Louis. I chose East Saint Louis. I could not make that choice today. The other members of the faculty where I taught are now being blamed for the fact that their students are not on par with the students in those affluent areas, and some are losing their jobs because of it, despite the fact that they have devoted their lives to doing as much as they could in a very difficult situation.
My grand daughter is now in college. She considered teaching, but I talked her out of it. So, we have one more business/ law major, which gets some respect. But, who is going to teach the next generation? No one with any self respect or common sense.

May 25 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to dlee4144's comment
ciscokid2020

You hit the nail on the head! Anyone teaching in urban districts has target on his/her back.

May 29 2011 at 8:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fruwench

And because you talked a good woman out of teaching, things will get worse. How can it get better if good people go into "better" or higher paid jobs? For her (or your?) respect, you destroy the future. It is this attitude that destroys the schools. The "good fight" isn't always respectable, or well paid, or even liked. Does that makes it not worth fighting or fixing?

June 02 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fruwench's comment
p2central

I wouldn't pay for my kid to go into the teaching field under any circumstance unless they wanted to major in chemistry or engineering and teach on a university level; other than that NO WAY!

People don't have 100 years to wait until our Federal Gov. corrects simple problems in our edu. system. The government is lazy, unwilling, and frankly have far more things on their agenda that they feel is more important than the education of our children. Knowing that, I can't even think of sending my kids to public school.

I home school, focus on math and science- and don't have to worry about my kids being subjected to the ridiculous.

June 04 2011 at 3:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

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