It appears that Balderas Elementary School in Fresno, California has its fair share of bad seeds. Last week, three students, one girl and two boys, were expelled for putting rat poison in the frosting of their teacher's cupcake
. What's even more horrifying is that it wasn't the first time these grade five students had tried to poison the instructor.
In December of last year, the kids poured rat poison in the teacher's coffee cup, but at the last moment, one of the little boys had a change of heart and knocked the mug out of the teacher's hands.
The Fresno Teacher's Association is up in arms over the crime. The Fresno Unified school district has history of teachers getting beat up or threatened, and the school district doesn't seem to do anything about it. Teacher's Association President Greg Gadams says that in the case of the three primary school students, they received disciplinary action after the first poisioning, but criminal charges were never pressed. Though he doesn't want the kids "to be languishing in juvenile hall," he's concerned about the kind of message it sends to other students when the consequences are not on par with the crime.
Though Gadams may not want the kids behind bars, perhaps the best way to prevent these kids from getting any more rotten would be to send them to a juvenile detention center where they can get some real rehabilitation and learn their lesson.
Can you imagine what would have happened had the teacher taken a bite of the cupcake? The kids may only be 10 and 11-years-old, but if they can read the back of a cereal box, they can certainly read the back of a rat poison box, which has very clear and large warning labels. I don't for a second believe they thought they teacher would just get sick. Maybe they didn't understand how the teacher's death would have impacted them. Had they understood the consequences of homicide, maybe they wouldn't have put the poison in. But surely these kids are old enough to know that poison will kill you.
What these kids did, for the second time around mind you, is a premeditated crime that involved multiple steps and serious planning. They didn't push someone over, hit someone, or act on a whim. Their first attempt was thwarted, so they plotted and tried again. So these kids absolutely need to be held accountable for their actions.
Their actions make me wonder what in the world is going on in these kids' homes that would provoke them to follow through on a plan to kill their teacher. It turns out one of the parents of the little boys charged with plotting the whole scheme had been bragging that her son had saved the teacher's life by hitting the mug out of the teacher's hand. Yet, that child was the little mastermind behind the first and second incident. Surely, when your child is trying to kill his teacher, it's time for some serious family counseling.
Currently the students are at The Phoenix Academy, a school for children with disciplinary problems. The Fresno County district attorney's office is currently deciding whether or not to press charges, and for the sake of everyone who will have any future contact with these kids, I hope they do.