Police say fourth graders plotted to kill NY teacher

Reuters/Jim Young
​Students at a school in western New York plotted to kill their fourth grade teacher in December, according to a law enforcement report that surfaced this week, but their plans were foiled by the police.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department told local media this week that the suspects — nine-year-old students from the Elba Central School District — “made comments to other students that they were going to kill [the teacher] by putting antibacterial products around the classroom."

According to the Buffalo News, the teacher is reportedly highly allergic to hand sanitizer.

“I don’t know her reaction to hand sanitizer. If it’s something like peanut butter – in some people it can kill you. Obviously these students had been made aware that this teacher was highly allergic to anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and they started talking amongst themselves because they didn’t like the teacher,” Genesee County Sheriff Chief Investigator Jerome E. Brewster told the News this week.

WGRZ-TV reported that a student at the school alerted his mom about the plot last month, who then told the school board and police. According to the network, one student interviewed for the subsequent report indicated the teacher "yells at us and that the class has problems with her."

“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,” Elba Superintendent Jerome Piwko said in a statement released on Thursday this week as word of the police report made its rounds. “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,” Piwko said.

“When we realized they never followed through with it and they told us they had no intention of following through, we said there was not much we can do,” Brewster, the chief investigator for Genesee County, told the Buffalo News. “We suggested they turn it over to youth court, but (the school) indicated they were going to handle it internally.”