NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Two Hines Middle School students are charged with trying to poison a teacher at the school.
According to police spokesman Lou Thurston, the students are accused of putting hand sanitizer in a teacher's drinks over the course of two or three months.
Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools said the school's resource officer (SRO) was made aware of the incident Jan. 29, 2013. The SRO alerted the teacher involved and the Newport News Police Department's Special Victims Unit.
Price said two 13-year-old male students admitted to the act and were suspended that day.
As a result of the school's investigation, the teens were later removed from Hines Middle School and transferred to an alternative school.
They were arrested March 6 at the alternative high school they were attending in the 800 block of Diligence Drive.
The parents of the students directly involved were contacted in January, Price said. However, parents of other students WAVY.com spoke with say they were just notified by the school about the incident March 26.
"You hear about stuff like that on television," parent Jessica Temple said. "You don't hear of 13 year old kids taking it upon themselves to do something like that to another person. I don't care if you don't like your teacher but seriously that's a little scary and what if they did it to student."
The following is the transcript of the robo call sent to parents:
Good evening, this is Amanda Corbin-Station, principal of Hines. I am calling to inform you that you may hear reports about an incident that occurred in January. I wanted to share more details with you. Two months ago, we received a tip that two students tampered with a teacher's beverage. At that time, we conducted a thorough investigation in cooperation with the Newport News Police Department. The students involved in this incident were immediately removed from our school; the teacher is still working at Hines.
As always, I strive to keep you informed. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Temple and many other parents are wondering why it took so long for the school to speak about what was going on.
"A prank is one thing," Temple said. "But to do something on a regular basis there was obviously more intent behind that. And it kind of makes me nervous i want to know what the intent was. I'm not scared to let my child go back to that school, but I kind of am in a sense."
Each teen involved was charged with attempted poisoning, a felony.
The victim is a 66-year-old Hampton woman. Price said she had stomach discomfort but was never hospitalized. She had to take several days off for doctor's appointments. She is back at the school teaching, according to Price.
Price said the school system believed the kids should still be offered an education, which is why they were placed in the alternative school until they were arrested.
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