It's not unusual for kids to sometimes resent their school teacher. It's not that strange that in the heat of their anger, they might wish them harm. But it's very unusual for them to try to put those angry thoughts into action. It's less common for them to band together to do it. And it's almost unheard of when they're only 8 or 9 years old.
Officials in Georgia are contemplating their response after learning as many as nine kids at a local elementary school were apparently plotting to kidnap, attack and stab their third grade teacher in their classroom, with each one of the kids being assigned a special task as part of the plot.
It happened at Center Elementary School in the southern city of Waycross, close to the Florida border. Cops say a tip from another student about seeing one of the kids with a weapon brought them to the campus, where the stunning plot unraveled.
What's so chilling about this story is how detailed it was and how close it appeared to be to actually taking place. According to authorities, each child had been assigned a specific job. One was supposed to cover the windows with paper so no one could see what was happening inside. Another was told to clean up after the attack.
"We're not sure at this point in the investigation how many of the students actually knew the intent was to hurt the teacher," admits Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner.
Cops found a bag with a variety of items that were apparently to be used in the plot (top left), including a broken steak knife, handcuffs, a heavy paperweight and various kinds of adhesives, like duct tape and electrical tape.
And the reason they allegedly intended to attack the victim? She'd scolded one of them for standing on a chair.
"We did not hear anybody say they intended to kill her, but could they have accidentally killed her? Absolutely," Tanner concurs. "We feel like if they weren't interrupted, there would have been an attempt. Would they have been successful? We don't know."
The veteran teacher specializes in helping kids with learning disabilities.
Now the question is what to do with those police believe planned it all. Under Georgia law, kids under 13 can't be charged with a crime. Instead, all have been suspended for now, with officials contemplating their expulsion. But the case is so unique, that no one's quite sure how to make the punishment fit this interrupted crime.
It appears authorities may have little choice but to let the school board deal with the fallout, since they have no legal jurisdiction. Other parents are outraged at that response and are demanding that the accused students be kept away from their own kids, fearing for their safety.
"We don't want our children around them," Stacy Carter told a local newspaper. "The one with the knife could have stabbed my child or someone else's child at lunch or out on the playground."
Photo courtesy: Waycross Georgia Police Department
Click to view image: '168746-apr0208waycross.jpg'
Tags: grade 3, kids, murder, plot, teacher, kill, young, young offenders, Waycross, Georgia, Police,
Location: Waycross, Georgia, United States (load item map)
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