Plot against Waycross teacher
On Tuesday, April 1, 2008 Waycross police uncovered a shocking plot to "hurt" a third-grade teacher hatched by 9 of her students. The children did bring handcuffs, tape, a steak knife, a crystal paperweight and other things into the elementary school in furtherance of their plot to hurt the teacher.
Psychiatry experts said it's unlikely children that young seriously intended to hurt anyone, though they are capable of creating elaborate games. Premeditated acts of student violence are virtually unknown before high school. According to criminal justice expert Dan Mears, a professor at Florida State, "...children simply don't have the long-standing anger response to commit a crime like this. Kids tend to be more spontaneous. When they're angry, they act on it right then."
Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said the plot unraveled when a student reported a knife in her classmate's backpack. Police where called immediately with the report of a weapon and they eventually identified the nine children involved and three, 2 girls age 10 and 9 and an 8-year-old boy who appeared to be ringleaders.
Under Georgia law children under the age of 13 cannot be charged with adult crimes. No such restriction exists for juvenile court, but it is unlikely prosecutors will be able to prove criminal intent.