Alaska first-graders accused of plot to kill classmate with poison

Three first-grade students at Winterberry Charter School in Anchorage have been suspended after plotting to poison and kill a classmate, the school principal says.

In a bizarre case, Anchorage police say there indeed appeared to be a plot among the students to harm a classmate at the school last week. The substance the children planned to use as a poison, silica gel, is generally considered to be non-toxic but the students believed it was harmful, according to a letter the school sent to parents.

Jennifer Castro, spokeswoman for APD, says a fellow student alerted adults when he or she learned of the plan.

“We’re grateful that that student was able to speak up and obviously at such a young age,” Castro said.

Parents of first-grade students received an email from the school principal notifying them of the incident on March 22.

It says, in part, “Three students in the class were planning on using the silica gel packets (these are not actually poison, but the students believed they were) from their lunchtime seaweed to poison and kill another student.”

The plot was never put into action according to Castro. A School Resource Officer responded to the school and investigated the case.

“The important lesson here is to really teach your kids if they hear something like this, something where someone intends to do harm to someone else, they should tell someone that they trust right away,” Castro said.

The Anchorage School District and the Winterberry principal would not comment further on the incident, but confirmed the email was sent to parents and that three students would be returning to the school following their suspension.

Winterberry Charter School has a 405-student wait list according to ASD.