(Video Update) The NYPD took two male tweens into police custody on May 21 after the pair was accused of dosing their fourth grade teacher’s water bottle with what police believe was rat poison. The two fourth graders, ages nine and 12, allegedly poisoned their teacher on Monday “causing her to feel nauseated the next day.”
NYPD’s Sgt. John Buthorn said that the teacher had to go to the doctor’s but is feeling better now, according to CNN. The substance the boys put in the teacher’s water is currently being tested, “but it appears to be rat poison, police said.” Both suspects were charged as juveniles with attempted second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.
The alleged poisoning took place at P.S. 315 in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. The Department of Education for New York City released a statement saying that it will continue to monitor the situation, and that it’s "greatly relieved that the teacher is recovering."
"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," the statement said.
The New York Times reported that the teacher at P.S. 315 was alerted by a concerned parent whose child witnessed the suspects spiking the teacher’s water. But by the time the mom found out and got in touch with the teacher, the 62-year-old teacher had already ingested the poisoned water. The teacher was able to get herself to a doctor’s office, and turned her water bottle over to the school principal. NYPD Commissioner William. J. Bratton stated that “a ‘small amount’ of rat poisoning had been placed into the water bottle by the children.”
“My understanding is the 9-year-old wanted to see what the reaction would be,” Mr. Bratton said. “God knows where kids get these ideas.”
CBS News in New York reported that this isn’t the first time that students have tried poisoning a teacher at P.S. 315. Reportedly, another teacher who asked not to be identified said that someone put something in her water just a few weeks ago. That third grade teacher said that after she found her water “grey and murky,” she reported the incident to school officials who didn’t follow up. For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.