Tuesday, April 1, 2008

OK now this is scary

3rd-Graders Allegedly Plotted To Attack Teacher

Police say they have questioned a group of south Georgia third-graders about a plot to attack their teacher, apparently because she had scolded one of them for standing on a chair. The nine students are too young to be charged with a crime under Georgia law, a prosecutor told the Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla. They include girls and boys, ages 8 and 9. Authorities withheld the Center Elementary School students' names.Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner called the plot a serious threat that involved an attack on the teacher. "We did not hear anybody say they intended to kill her, but could they have accidentally killed her? Absolutely," Tanner said. "We feel like if they weren't interrupted, there would have been an attempt. Would they have been successful? We don't know." Tanner said the scheme involved a division of roles. One child's job was to cover windows so no one could see outside, he said. One was assigned to clean up the blood after the attack. Tanner says school officials alerted police last week after a pupil tipped off a teacher that a girl had brought a weapon to school."We estimate between six to nine students were involved. We're not sure at this point in the investigation how many of the students actually knew the intent was to hurt the teacher," Tanner told the Times-Union.Officials said the parents of the students have cooperated with investigators. By law police officials cannot question children without their parents' or guardians' consent. He says police seized a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape, electrical and transparent tape, ribbons and a crystal paperweight from the students, who apparently intended to use them against the teacher. The alleged target was a veteran educator who teaches third-grade students with a range of learning disabilities, including attention deficit disorder, delayed development and hyperactivity, friends and parents said. Tanner said the plot apparently began taking shape last week after the teacher chastised a girl about standing on a chair. Police expected to forward the results of their investigation to prosecutors, Tanner said. Children in Georgia can't be charged with a crime unless they are at least 13, District Attorney Rick Currie said. Theresa Martin, spokeswoman for the Ware County school system, told The Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla., that administrators would follow school system policy and state law in disciplining the students. "From what I understand, they were considered pretty good kids," Martin said. "But we have to take this seriously, whether they were serious or not about carrying this through, and that's what we did." Four mothers of other third-grade students at Center Elementary called for the immediate expulsion of the suspected plotters. Stacy Carter and Deana Hiott both cited school system policy stating that any student who brings "anything reasonably considered to be a weapon" is to be expelled for at least the remainder of the school year. "We don't want our children around them," said Carter, who learned about the incident from a teacher at the school Friday night. "The one with the knife could have stabbed my child or someone else's child at lunch or out on the playground." "This is an isolated incident, an aberration. ... We have good kids," said Center Principal Angie Coleman.


joanne said...

I saw this the other day! How scary that 3rd graders are capable of plotting something like this and very detailed!

Vicki said...

I know. Scares me what my children are growing up in. Can not even imagine thinking of killing my teacher in the 3rd grade. But then again I was innocent as a kid ;O)