Elementary school students put rat poison in their teacher’s water bottle

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Reported by Liku Zelleke

Two elementary school students in Brooklyn, N.Y., were arrested after they tried to poison their teacher. Reports state that the 9 and 12-year-old, fourth graders, had slipped rat poison into veteran teacher Johanna Cherepany’s water bottle to see what would happen.

The teacher brought her water bottle to the principal’s office and then headed to the doctors’ to be checked out. She is currently at home recovering.

According to authorities, the 62-year-old teacher became nauseous after she took a sip from the bottle. The water is currently being tested.

A parent, Derrel Williams said, “It is poison; it could be given to kids as well. It’s a dangerous situation not to be taken lightly.”

The boys attend PS 315 in Brooklyn. They were arrested when a parent of another student called the school to report that her child had witnessed a student putting something in a teacher’s water bottle.

Another parent, Naomi Primus, said, “This happened on Monday. It is Wednesday. Something should have gone out to let parents know.”

According to Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Davis, the poison had been administered by the 9-year-old with the assistance of the elder boy. The younger boy was responsible for the procuring the poison. Police later found more of the rat poison in his backpack. Davis also said that the boys simply wanted to know what would happen to the teacher.

The Department of Education released a statement that said, “We are greatly relieved that the teacher is recovering and we continue to closely monitor this situation. 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 boys were taken into custody on Tuesday, according to the police. They have been charged as juveniles with attempted assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon (the rat poison).