NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two Brooklyn fourth-graders were arrested Tuesday for allegedly trying to poison a teacher, police said.
The incident happened Monday at P.S. 315 in Flatbush. The boys, ages 9 and 12, allegedly put “a substance consistent with rat poisoning” in the 62-year-old teacher’s water bottle, police said.
She drank it and became nauseous, but was treated and is now recovering, police said.
The teacher went to police after two other students told their parents they saw the boys put something in the bottle and the parents notified the school, officials said.
No one answered the door at the teacher’s home Wednesday, CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported. The woman hung up the phone when contacted by CBS 2.
Parents at the school Wednesday morning were shocked to hear about the arrests.
“It’s poison,” parent Derrel Williams told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang. “It could be given to kids as well. It’s a dangerous situation not to be taken lightly.”
“I think it’s horrible. I just heard about it, and I’m in shock. I’m shaking,” one parent told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “I was thinking that the children are the future, and the future doesn’t seem too promising right now with these things happening in school.”
“This happened on Monday. It’s Wednesday. Something should have gone out to let parents know,” said mother Naomi Primus.
“You would think that would come from an adult, but not a kid in elementary school,” another parent said.
The teacher’s neighbors were also stunned by the news.
“She’s a very nice woman,” Dominick Barboscia told Gainer. “See her every day coming from work. It’s a sin what happened.”
The bottle is currently being tested, police said.
The boys are charged as juveniles with attempted assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.
A third-grade teacher who did not want to be identified said she believes she was almost poisoned three weeks ago, Jiang reported. The water in her bottle was grey and murky.
She said she alerted school officials, but nothing was done, Jiang reported.
Officials from P.S. 315 have not returned calls from CBS 2 seeking comment.
The Department of Education issued a statement saying: “We are greatly relieved that the teacher is recovering and we continue to closely monitor this situation. Ensuring the safety of our entire schools community is our priority and while this matter is still under investigation, we will take swift and appropriate action.”
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