WAYCROSS, Ga. - A group of third-graders plotted to attack their teacher, bringing a broken steak knife, handcuffs, and duct tape for the job and assigning children tasks including covering the windows and cleaning up afterward, police said yesterday.
The plot at Center Elementary School was a serious threat, Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said, and involved as many as nine boys and girls.
School officials alerted police Friday after a pupil tipped off a teacher that a girl had brought a weapon to school. Tanner said the students apparently planned to knock the teacher unconscious with a paperweight, bind her with the handcuffs and tape, and then stab her with the knife.
"We did not hear anybody say they intended to kill her, but could they have accidentally killed her? Absolutely," Tanner said.
The pupils, ages 8 to 10, were apparently mad because the teacher scolded one of them for standing on a chair, Tanner said.
Two of the students were arrested on juvenile charges yesterday and a third arrest was expected. District Attorney Rick Currie said other students told investigators they didn't take the plot seriously or insisted they had decided not to participate. "Some of the kids said, 'We thought they were just kidding,' " Currie said.
Currie said the children are too young to be charged as adults and probably too young to be sentenced to a youth detention center.
Police seized a steak knife with a broken handle, steel handcuffs, duct tape, electrical and transparent tape, ribbons, and the paperweight, Tanner said.
Currie said he decided to seek juvenile charges against two girls who brought the knife and paperweight and a boy who brought tape. He said all three students faced charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and both girls were being charged with bringing weapons to school.