Milk experiment angers parents

January 10, 2008 6:59:44 PM PST
It was a potentially dangerous science lesson. Students at a local middle school saw who could drink the most milk. And some of them ended up sick. Video of the so-called science lab, which happened right before the Christmas break, ended up on "You Tube" and now the teacher has been removed from the classroom. But some parents say that's not enough.

The video posted on YouTube may look like a college fraternity. It played out in an eighth-grade classroom. Huffman middle school students raced to see who could chug a gallon of milk in under an hour. Five students participated. Dozens egged them on and some even videotaped, all as the teacher watched and, as the videos shows, seemed to encourage.

Over the more than 15 minutes, a few of the kids got sick, some to the point of vomiting.

"He said, 'Mom, come look at what they did in this class,'" said Shirley Banhagle, who saw the video.

Banhagle saw the video of what happened in the advance placement science class. She was horrified.

"My son, thank God, he wasn't involved in this particular class, but that he's in a school that is allowing something so terrible to happen to these kids," said Banhagle.

Huffman Superintendent Doug Killian had a similar reaction when he saw the videos.

"I'm disturbed by it," he said. "It doesn't represent Huffman ISD."

Killian and the school's principal questioned the science teacher. They learned she called the potentially dangerous stunt a science lab to help kids learn the property of homeostasis.

"It's not acceptable," said Killian. "It doesn't represent Huffman ISD, either. That's why we're conducting a full investigation. We continue on that right now."

Banhagle hopes the lessons learned from the incident resonate with everyone in Huffman ISD.

"The district should pay closer attention as to what kind of curriculums are going on in those classes," she said.

None of the kids involved in drinking the milk required medical attention. A note went home to parents on Thursday. As for the teacher, she's suspended as the district investigates. The superintendent says he believes likely the teacher broke many rules, including endangering students and not supervising them properly.

We've posted links to the video clips on YouTube. To see them for yourself, click here

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