14-year old Aliya Nigro has been suspended from school for over a month, and is possibly facing criminal charges. She didn’t bring a weapon to school, she didn’t destroy any school property, she didn’t paint any racist graffiti, she wasn’t wearing anything inappropriate or too revealing.
Her current legal woes all stem from an allegedly weaponized baby carrot.
On September 21, the alleged teenage carrot terrorist was walking between classes at George H. Moody Middle School in Henrico, Virginia. She spotted her former French teacher, Michele Crowley, in the crowded hallway and decided[WU1] to toss a tiny carrot at her as a practical joke.
“I was having a good day, and I was walking from math to art, and I had a bag of baby carrots in my pocket from lunch because my intention was to eat them later, if i got hungry,” Nigro told The Daily Beast. “I thought as a simple prank, I'd toss the carrot over.”
Well, the baby carrot ended up gaining more velocity than anticipated and allegedly struck Mrs. Crowley on her forehead. Nigro was then called into the counselor’s office during the middle of art class to answer for what she had done. The prank had been caught on the school’s security cameras.
“They looked at the footage, and saw I’d tossed it,” Nigro continued. “About an hour later, I was finally told I was getting suspended…They haven't said when I'm coming back…I liked [Mrs. Crowley] as a teacher; I was not good at French whatsoever...We didn't argue, she always gave me second chances.”
No blood was drawn during the alleged carrot-hurling incident, but enough offense was taken that criminal charges were subsequently filed against the teen, according to disciplinary documents obtained by The Daily Beast. Nigro says she was told her former teacher chose to go forward with the assault and battery charges
"I don't understand this,” Karrie May, Aliya’s mother, told the Richmond CBS affiliate this week. “Yes, it happened, and I can see a couple of days in school detention or even a couple days out-of-school suspension. But this goes way beyond that. We have to go to court, and her charges aren't small: assault and battery with a weapon."
(CBS 6’s in-house legal expert said that because the alleged projectile wasn’t a “soft carrot,” the battery charge could, maybe have some weight: “You don't have to have an injury or show you were hurt to prove a battery. It just has to be an offensive, vindictive touch. That's what the law says.")
The mother and daughter are now awaiting a summons to see what legal battle comes next. (School administrators and Crowley could not be reached for comment on this story.)
“Ms. May, you shared your concerns that the consequence given was taking it too far,” reads a letter sent by the school earlier this month. “You expressed that Aliya is remorseful about what has happened and as a result, she has to see her psychiatrist because she suffers from anxiety and depression.”
The document notes that the school counselor noted that “Aliya is a great student” who “has not received teacher reports of behavior.”
Here is a photo of the two-inch baby carrot that has kept this “great student” out of her school for over a month now:
“I was struck on the forehead with a raw carrot quite forcefully,” Crowley told investigators, according to the school’s incident report, which you can read below. “Due to the force with which it was thrown I asked that the surveillance video for the hallway be reviewed as it seemed intentional.”
“The reason I threw the carrot was a joke, not for any harmful reasons,” Nigro told administrators on the day of the alleged vegetable attack. “That’s why I had just used a carrot, and originally aimed lower…”
A valuable lesson to be learned: Don’t throw very small foods at your former French teachers. Another valuable lesson: Maybe don’t file criminal charges against carrot-slinging 14-year-old girls while depriving them of an education.