Benicia Teacher Teresa Badger Arrested for Allegedly Putting the ‘Pot’ in School Pot Luck Dinner
A Northern California teacher has been arrested and accused of poisoning colleagues and at least one child by serving food laced with marijuana at an after-school pot luck dinner event.
KGO reports 47-year-old Teresa Gilmete Badger was arrested Friday at her Benicia home on suspicion of willfully mingling a poison or harmful substance with food, a felony.
Badger, a teacher at Matthew Turner Elementary School in Benicia, has reportedly confessed to bringing cannabis-laced food to an off-campus pot luck dinner at a local residence last November 21. KTVU reports several guests at the employee event felt sick and as if they were under the influence of an unknown substance.
Party guest and school parent Joseph Nichols told KGO he witnessed one of the other attendees fall ill.
“It was obviously something she ate and she was hallucinating or something along those lines,” he said. “She was distraught over what happened basically.”
“There were probably 15-20 guests at the party and I would say half of them developed symptoms or objective signs of being under the influence,” Benicia Police Lt. Frank Hartig told KGO.
One guest was rushed to a local hospital. The following day, a second guest, who was complaining of chest pain and other symptoms, was also hospitalized. The San Francisco Chronicle reports one party guest took some of the tainted food home, where a 15-year-old child consumed it and fell ill, complaining of feeling under the influence. Blood tests on the victims revealed the presence of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Many parents who spoke to local media outlets said Badger, who once received an award for ‘outstanding kindergarten teacher,’ is a great person and an excellent educator.
“I know her as a person who is very, very kind and just a sweet individual and this just doesn’t fit,” neighbor Dave Padilla, who has known Badger and her family for years, told KGO.
Badger has been placed on leave. She has been booked into the Solano County Jail on $15,000 bail. She was reportedly released on Saturday, according to the Solano County Sheriff’s Department.