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Police investigate Smithville High School teacher’s coffee to see if it was laced

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- Police are investigating an accusation at Smithville High School that someone put an unknown substance into a teacher's cup of coffee.

The Smithville police chief says the coffee was sent off to the state laboratory for testing. The incident happened on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at the district’s high school. Police say the teacher started experiencing unusual symptoms that required him to seek medical attention.

Neither police nor the school district could release the teacher's name, but students said they heard of the incident from the teacher.

“I do remember him talking about having a sudden heart problem last week and him going into see a doctor because he had a really high heart rate,” Smithville junior Austin Roberts said.

“He’s an insanely nice guy, I could never see anyone holding anything against him,” senior Brandon Butts said of the teacher.

Police say they will wait on results from that testing to confirm the substance. At this point they don't have any persons of interest or suspects.

“I think that whoever did it, should pay the consequences. Drugging somebody regardless of what they did isn’t right,” Roberts said.

After FOX 4 began inquiring about the investigation, the district sent out the following notification to Smithville High families on Tuesday, Feb. 23:

Dear Smithville High School Families,

I would like to make you aware of an incident that is under investigation at Smithville High School. During a school day last week, one of our employees consumed a beverage that may have been laced with an unknown substance. Staff medical privacy laws, prohibit discussing the identity of the employee; furthermore, local law enforcement is aware of the situation and it is inappropriate for us to comment on an ongoing police investigation.

We understand that this matter is likely being talked about in community circles and it is drawing attention from local media. We wanted you to know that we are aware of the situation and acting accordingly.

We also want you to know that we are taking this situation very seriously. The safety of our staff and students is always our first priority. Should you have information that may help with the investigation, please contact us or the Smithville Police Department.

Thank you,

Todd Schuetz, Superintendent