4th graders allegedly plot teacher's death

ELBA, N.Y. -- Concerned parents and a school board member foiled a group of school children's plan to kill their fourth grade teacher.

The alleged incident happened back in December just before winter break, and according to the police report, three students were involved.

Their plan was to expose a teacher to anti-bacterial products because she is highly allergic to them.

A board member contacted police after she heard of the plan from other parents and her son.

The report, provided by the Genesee County Sheriff's Department, said, "the suspects made comments to other students that they were going to kill [the teacher] by putting antibacterial products around the classroom."

Youth officers interviewed the suspected students with their parents and school officials present.

One student stated that her teacher "yells at us and that the class has problems with her."

Another student seemed to indicate the plan to poison the teacher started with yet another student.

We initially reached out to the district Tuesday by email before we got the police report. The superintendent responded and wrote, "The information described in your email would, if it existed, be considered a student record that a school district is prohibited from disclosing under FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)."

According to the incident report, the principal and school counselor told police the students contradicted themselves because their stories were different than what they said the day before meeting with the youth officers.

In the end, the school decided it would handle the case, so the Sheriff's Department is no longer involved.

A motive isn't clear, however the Genesee County Sheriff's Department report indicated alleged bullying in the classroom, and the officers were told that particular class of fourth graders "had problems working together."

Elba Superintendent Jerome Piwko later issued another statement on Thursday afternoon regarding the incident:

It has been widely reported that certain fourth grade students had been discussing a way to harm a teacher in the Elba Central School District. This event has been a shock to our community and school. The District cannot comment on the specifics of this event, including disicipline, as the information is protected from disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The reports in the media and on social media do not accurately reflect the entire event.

As soon as the District was made aware of the students' discussion it called in students that were thought to have knowledge of the discussions. After the students were interviewed, the District contacted the Sheriff's Department and cooperated with the Sheriff's Deputies in their investigation of the matter. The Sheriff's Department concluded that no crime had been committed and the matter was turned back over to the District. The District in turn has worked with the parents and students involved to address this issue. It is important to note that no one was injured or actually placed in harm's way.

The District does not condone any of the behaviors that have been reported and is in the process of working alongside the Sheriff's Department to use this incident as a vehicle for educating the District's students regarding appropriate behaviors.


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