Local/State

Harnett County teacher fired for blood experiment

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Harnett County teacher has been fired after school officials said she allowed biology students to prick themselves with lancing needles as part of an experiment and reusing the needles with other students.

Officials said Miyoshi McMillan of Overhills High School in Spring Lake conducted a lab Oct. 24 on blood typing.

School spokeswoman Patrician Harmon-Lewis says McMillian used a lab kit that included synthetic blood and seven lancets used to obtain drops of blood for testing.

Harmon-Lewis says McMillan provided the lancets for each lab group. She said after the students used the needles, they used alcohol swabs and saved the needles for the next class to use.

McMillan says she was set up to fail.

She says she was subbing in a classroom, and that the equipment, needles and all, were already in the classroom.

"I believe it's really been blown up and it's been a character strike against me," said McMillan.

It was a science experiment where kids could use their own blood. They pricked their own fingers and then swabbed a needle or lancet with rubbing alcohol before reusing the needle. It's something McMillan says was just an option.

"The kids did not get a straight needle put into them," said McMillan "I really believe that the children will be fine. My main concern is the safety of the children."

The school system disagreed and fired McMillian. A letter was sent home suggesting that all 16 students who were affected get their own blood tested to make sure their blood wasn't affected.

So far, none one has been affected. For McMillan though she says this was just a lesson gone bad and says the school system should have had more safeguards in place.

"I was not supposed to use this kit, or any other science equipment in the laboratory," said McMillian. "It should have been removed before I took this position."

McMillan says she's enrolled in a Ph.D. program and will be just fine. She began as a substitute teacher in 2009.

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(Copyright ©2014 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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