Waycross 3rd graders charged for plotting to attack teacher - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Waycross 3rd graders charged for plotting to attack teacher

April 1, 2008

Waycross - Investigators say a group of third graders planned to attack their teacher and even brought weapons to school to do it.

Nine third graders at a Waycross Elementary School are now suspended.

Three of them, an 8-year old boy and 9 and 10-year old girls, are now charged with possession of weapons on school grounds, conspiracy to commit a crime of aggravated assault, and unruly child

Police say the kids got mad because the teacher disciplined them last week. 

Nine students at Center Elementary School in Waycross, ages 8 to 10, were caught plotting to attack their teacher, Belle Carter.

Simply for being disciplined.  "Possibly a girl standing on her chair or jumping up and down behind her chair," says Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner.

Police say since Thursday the students had been stashing weapons at school. A steak knife, cheap hand cuffs, a large crystal paper weight, ribbon, and duct tape.

"They planned to tie her up and then go from there," Chief Tanner says.  "With the steak knife and the crystal being involved we have looked at both of those items being possible weapons to hurt her in some fashion."

Armed with their tools the students came to school, each with a specific job....from taping shut windows to possibly even wiping up blood.

Police say the students mapped out a detailed plan to hurt, possibly torture her. 

The exact details are still unknown but they say whatever the plan, it could have had tragic results.  "If it would have been a blow to the neck with a knife or the heart or anything else. It could have been fatal," Tanner says.

The students were rounded up Friday, the day they planned to carry out the attack, when a pupil saw a girl bringing her weapon to school. The teacher, they say, is still in shock.

The students had all been called good kids until now.  "She's shaken up a little. She's really surprised. She showed me a picture of the students in her class. She's really surprised they would do this," says Theresa Martin of the Ware County School System.

The students are all typically too young to be charged under Georgia law but the three masterminds have been charged due to the seriousness of this case and the potentially deadly outcome it may have had.

The school board won't comment on the length of the suspensions or whether the kids may be kicked out of school altogether.

Carter is a veteran teacher who was planning to retire at the end of the year.

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