Three young girls were suspended from school after planning to poison and kill a classmate.
At Winterberry Charter School in Anchorage, Alaska, three first-grade students were suspended after planning to poison and kill another student by placing silica gel in her food, KTUU reports. This isn’t the first time this plot has been foiled, according to the parent of one of the suspended students.
Parents of first-grade students were informed of the incident on March 22 through a note from the principal.
"It’s surprising to me that somebody that young could come up with a plan like that," a parent from the school, who wished to remain anonymous, told KTUU. "Gosh, I didn’t think I’d have to talk to my child about leaving his food unattended."
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The three girls planned to use silica gel to poison their fellow classmate. According to Carolinas Poison Center, silica gel is non-toxic, although it is frequently placed inside packets that read, "Do not eat."
Another student became aware of the plan and told school officials, KTUU notes.
"We're grateful that that student was able to speak up and obviously at such a young age," Jennifer Castro, spokesperson for the Anchorage Police Department, said.
Local police were involved in the case but said the punishment was to be determined by the district and school. The principal administered a multi-day suspension for the three girls.
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"Is that an appropriate punishment for a school that has a several-year waiting list to get it, it’s a lottery school," the anonymous parent added to KTUU. “There’s plenty of other kids that are waiting to get in this school. I don’t think that they deserve to be at this school.”
Over 400 children are on the waiting list for the school. According to the institute's official website, their mission is to promote the development of responsible, healthy and creative students.
Castro believes the incident offers a valuable lesson for parents and children.
"The important lesson here is to really teach your kids if they hear something like this, something where someone intends to do harm to someone else, they should tell someone that they trust right away," Castro said.