ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Three first graders in Alaska have been suspended after it was discovered that they had plotted to poison another student with silica packets.
Ed Graff, the superintendent of the Anchorage School District, told reporters that two students at Winterberry Charter School who had overheard others talking about the plot reported the matter to officials.
“We’re grateful that we had students come forward and share their concern,” he told ABC News.
According to reports, three female students plotted to put silica gel, beads that are found in packets meant to absorb moisture, in another female student’s lunch.
Despite the “do not eat” warning on the packets, the gel itself is not toxic. However, a school resource officer who questioned the girls determined that the students indeed intended to poison their classmate, thinking that the silica would be deadly. There had been arguments between the girls that resulted in the plot.
“They shared that three students in the class were planning on using the silica gel packets … from their lunchtime seaweed to poison and kill another student,” wrote Principal Shanna Mall in a letter to parents that also urged mothers and fathers to talk with their children “about what it means to tell in order to be helpful.”
Police spokesman Jennifer Castro told the Associated Press that charges will not be filed against the students.
“I’m not sure what we could criminally charge first-graders with,” she told the Associated Press. “What ended up happening was the officer took each one of them individually, [and] had a very a serious talk with all of them. … We really tried to give them the straight talk and the big picture of what this could have potentially turned into.”
The girls involved in the plot, however, were suspended and will return to school after the period has ended. Because two students reported the plan to officials, it was thwarted and not able to be carried out.
“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.
Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”