Unwitting teacher yanks insulin pump

Associated Press
Published October 6, 2005

CLERMONT - Cliffton Hassam, a junior at East Ridge High School, is diabetic and wears an insulin pump to regulate his blood sugar. The pump began beeping in class Friday. Before he could turn it off, substitute teacher Richard Maline yanked it from his leg.

Maline thought it was a cell phone.

"It fell to the floor," Hassam said in a written statement given to school officials Tuesday. "The second time he pulled it the tube came out of my leg."

Maline then realized his mistake.

Maline has been removed from the substitute teacher pool, said Russell Anderson, the Lake County schools' human resources director.

Hassam said his blood sugar levels did not return to normal until after the weekend.

His mother, Eva Hassam, said she complained to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. She wants someone charged.