9-year old student accused of trying to poison teacher

By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Deputies at the Colleton County Sheriff's Office are investigating the alleged poisoning of a fourth grade teacher at Hendersonville Elementary School.

The suspect is a 9-year-old girl, one of the victim's own students.

"You got kids killing kids, now they're trying to kill teachers," said Rick Hayes. Hayes has a child and a nephew who attend the school.

According to an incident report, a substitute teacher heard the suspect brag to other students that she had "taken care" of the victim and that she wouldn't be coming back to school because of what she put in her drink.

The report says when confronted by the principal of the school and the substitute teacher, the girl admitted to crushing up assorted prescription medications and putting them in the teacher's water bottle in the cafeteria.

"I was flabbergasted. We really and truly did not expect any of our students to do something like this," said principal Jessica Williams.

According to the police report, the victim began to feel ill during the Feb. 24 school day. She told deputies she continued to work through that -- and the following -- day, but called in sick Feb. 26.

The teacher told deputies she visited a doctor for a complete toxicology screening Friday and the report would be available sometime Saturday. Williams said the screening came back negative.

Fellow teachers were shocked to hear what happened. "It's a little surreal." said teacher Mary Kate Saunders. "It's not something that you'd expect to hear in any elementary school or home."

The student has been suspended, and officials say she may be expelled.

The 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office is also investigating the incident. According to the solicitor's office, a family court hearing has been scheduled for March 25. The student will face one of two charges -- administering poison or tampering with human drug products. She will only be charged on one of the two charges, a spokesperson with the solicitor's office said.

The spokesperson said if convicted, the girl will likely be sentenced to house arrest because of her age. He said the law prohibits them from incarcerating juveniles under the age of 11.

Sam Tyson contributed to the initial report.

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