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January 8, 2015 - 11:17am

Contrary to news reports, no attempt made to harm Elba teacher

posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

At least two young Elba students made threats against a teacher three weeks ago, resulting in a complaint to local law enforcement, but school officials are handling the matter internally.

Contrary to media reports elsewhere, there was no attempt to either kill or sicken the teacher. It was all talk.

Following a public records request, Sheriff Gary Maha released a police report on the closed investigation, which stemmed from a person who had heard about the incident calling police.

The report indicates that school officials have been attempting to deal with a bullying problem in a fourth-grade class, and in the course of the turmoil at least two students, possibly more, discussed spreading hand sanitizer on personal items of the class's teacher.

The teacher had made it known to her students that hand sanitizer could make her seriously ill. It's not clear that exposure could be fatal.

The students seemed to believe that the hand sanitizer could be used to kill their teacher.

The students never actually spread any hand sanitizer.

Deputy Kevin McCarthy responded to the school Dec. 18 after a complaint was made about children threatening to kill their teacher.

McCarthy interviewed officials and students at the school.

The report states that students were contradictory in their statements about the threats and who made them.  

A parent was also interviewed and was concerned about the alleged threats.

School officials believed two students implicated themselves in statements and those students were reportedly disciplined.

UPDATE: Here's a statement from Jerry Piwko, superintendent of Elba Central School District:

It has been widely reported that certain fourth-grade students had been discussing a way to harm a teacher in the Elba Central School District. This event has been a shock to our community and school. The District cannot comment on the specifics of this event, including discipline, as the information is protected from disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The reports in the media and on social media do not accurately reflect the entire event.

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. 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.

david spaulding
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Menacing is when someone threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc. a threat.
I have read the police reports in The Batavian and have seen that people are arrested for making threats and charged with........Menacing.......
" The Sheriff's Department concluded that no crime had been committed and the matter was turned back over to the District." Really? well if the Sheriff says so, I guess we don't need a district attorney, you know someone schooled in law.

C. M. Barons
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We are addressing children under age 10- are we not? ...Children who were overheard discussing an idea? This site just devoted two days to analyzing "censorship" of offensive posts as if it were a First Amendment issue. Does anyone recall the innocence of imagination? This situation belongs in the context of parents and other role models explaining why hurtful retaliation is not appropriate. Prosecuting these children would be equally inappropriate. Not only would the legal process be draconian and stigmatize the children, it would derail an opportunity to make this a valuable, teachable moment and likely make children fearful of communicating similar situations they consider questionable to adults.

Raymond Richardson
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If every 8 yer old were prosecuted for talking big, the courts would be jammed with frivolous criminal cases.

Kids talk big, and it's been going on since the dawn of time. It happens when they're not only out of their parents' sight, but any adult's as well.

I guess the important thing in this case is, they DIDN'T actually carry out their plan, but even more important is the school comes up with an appropriate punishment for these two, like picking up cigarette butts in the local park, or poopy scooping the local park, etc.

david spaulding
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yes the innocence of imagination....... the children have been taught that they are not responsible for their actions. what a better way to enforce that ideal then when their imagination takes them down the road to killing someone who has authority over them.
Since these children are not to be held responsible, we can now blame the teacher, the school administrators and yes, law enforcement. you can go ahead and blame me too as the taxes I pay go towards the salaries of all of the above.
What these children with imagination need to do is hire an attorney and sue everyone responsible for their well being as they have failed the fragile minds of these innocent creatures.

C. M. Barons
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"...the children have been taught that they are not responsible for their actions." My understanding from reading the story: no action was taken. The children never made the leap from discussing an idea to carrying it out. It's conceivable that the children decided on their own that the idea was a bad one. http://drjanegoldberg.com/articles/fantasies-of-revenge-and-the-stabiliz...

Kyle Couchman
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Mr. Richardson and Mr. Barons are perfect examples of enabling. There were administrators and teachers aware of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold "discussing" the idea of coming to school and gunning down fellow students and teachers. But back then the same arguments were made as we have seen in the forum today.

I have to agree with David again on this particular subject. Since 1999 til now how many incidences of murder have occured in our schools? I'm sorry CM Barons but innocents don't imagine killing an authority figure. Thats a product of today's enabling and forcing children to grow up too quick and have less of a childhood.

We all are cognizant of the fact that children today have very little respect (not all but more than in the past) and a sense of undeserved entitlement and parents live with the threat of being over scrutinized and many legal problems if they discipline too much some of these youths of today.

If it were me these little girls would be shone VERY VERY graphic film footage of a person dying from an allergic reaction and what happens to a person who dies from such causes....from pronouncement of death to internment or cremation. Give them an idea of what the consequences and results of what they were "planning" to do to their teacher would be. Bet while traumatizing it would also be a lesson not soon forgotten. Protect children too much from the reality of life and you end up with adults that can't handle reality.

C. M. Barons
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First off: I'm not enabling anyone. I don't even know the identities of the children, subject of this story. I have no personal influence on them what-so-ever. Secondly: I have not nor will I advocate that adults in a position to influence these children AVOID steering them away from hurting (mentally or physically) other people. My point: behavior modification does not always require the criminal justice system. The word "plan" does not appear anywhere in the article or the school district response. Comparing a juvenile "discussion" (of which no quotes have been derived, none privy to have described) to the Columbine incident which obviously went far beyond the discussion phase is far-fetched.

Scott Ogle
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"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."

- Plato c. 350 BCE

david spaulding
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I feel bad for the teacher, she has to go back to work and face and tolerate these delinquents on a daily basis. She'll have to avoid all issues with such as her job will be on the line. The kids have rights, they are entitled....

Tim Miller
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Darn kids nowadays!

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=408989

***dagnabit, Scott....you beat me to it!

Raymond Richardson
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And Kyle, in addition to what Mr. Barons stated in his reply to your rant, it's shown, not shone.

Shone is the past participle of shine.

Sorry I had to do it, I don't want someone thinking I'm enabling bad spelling.

Scott Ogle
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Haha, Tim. Attribution can be a tricky business , especially it seems, with Plato . The quote "Only the dead have seen the end of war" is frequently attributed to Plato. (As it was in the beginning of "Blackhawk Down".) Actually it was a miss-attribution on the part of Douglas MacArthur in a speech at West Point; the words are thought to have derived from George Santayana -- who also said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -- though some insist those words were Churchill's!

Frank Bartholomew
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All the ugliness the world has to offer is just a click away. So ask yourself, where do kids get these crazy ideas?
Scott Ogle
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"All the ugliness the world has to offer is just a click away. "

Undeniably true, Frank. Children unsupervised in cyberspace might as well be left to play in heavy traffic.

Bea McManis
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It is viral now Trending in the top five stories on Facebook and now, international news. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2902898/Three-9-year-old-girls-p...

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