Chemistry Makes Me Puke


Okay, my wife sent me this story.

The high school chemistry teacher who conducted a milk-drinking experiment in which some students drank to the point of vomiting can return to the classroom in January, but he won’t be recommended for rehire.

Jeff Ferguson has been severely reprimanded, and Johnston County schools superintendent Jim Causby will not recommend that he be rehired in June, according to a letter from the school system.

Ferguson learned of the decision Saturday, a month after he was suspended with pay for conducting the experiment in his honors chemistry classes at Smithfield-Selma Senior High School. The goal was to demonstrate the limits of the body’s ability to neutralize the acids in milk.

The letter said Ferguson erred by not notifying parents of the experiment in advance, awarding students extra credit for participating in the experiment, and not researching safety concerns more extensively.

The letter also said he had inappropriately pushed students to keep drinking after they felt sick, Ferguson said. No students were injured in the voluntary experiment, but several vomited.

“I’m surprised at the concerns that are supposedly addressed in the letter,” Ferguson said. “I don’t believe I erred in any way, because I didn’t break any policies.”

I’m a bit torn over how to react. Yeah, he was proving a point with the students. But, he made kids puke in school. He showed no remorse — which isn’t that big a qualifier, but still, he’s getting kids to throw up, encouraging them, and he treats it all as though the subject is sterile.

The guy sounds flaky to begin with. So, I guess I just pass it on without much judgment.

About the author

Erick Erickson

1 comment

  • You really know nothing about him, He is an awesome teacher, and no way near flaky. And know your facts, he didnt make us puke, it was completely voluntary.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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