Just Another Guy with Opinions

3rd Graders Plot Against Teacher

Posted by shadmia on April 2, 2008


Nine 3rd Grade students at Center Elementary School in Waycross, Ga. have been suspended from school. Three of the students face criminal charges. Their crime……planning to attack their teacher, Belle Carter, who disciplined one of them for being unruly in class. An 8-year-old boy and 9 and 10-year-old girls, are now charged with possession of weapons on school grounds, conspiracy to commit a crime of aggravated assault, and unruly child. The students are all typically too young to be charged under Georgia law but the three masterminds have been charged due to the seriousness of this case and the potentially deadly outcome it may have had.


The kids were well prepared for the attack. They even brought weapons with them to school to carry out the attack. Police say the students had been stashing weapons: A steak knife, cheap hand cuffs, a large crystal paper weight, ribbon, and duct tape. Click here to view TV report.

Authorities got word of the alleged plot to harm teacher Ms. Belle Carter at Center Elementary School on Friday when another student reported seeing the knife in the possession of another child. School officials then notified the police. The teacher, Belle Carter, is a veteran educator who teaches third-grade students with learning disabilities including attention deficit disorder, delayed development and hyperactivity, friends and parents said.

Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said the scheme involved a division of roles. One child’s job was to cover windows so no one could see outside. Another was supposed to clean up after the attack. The parents of the students have cooperated with investigators, who aren’t allowed to question the children without their parents’ or guardians’ consent. The three students who were arrested, whose names have not been released, were the ones who brought all the weapons to school said the police chief. He said the parents of the children accused are, “Shocked, saddened and surprised. This is their worst nightmare.” Also surprised by the students’ alleged plot was the teacher, who called her students good kids.

Theresa Martin, spokeswoman for the Ware County school system said that administrators would follow school system policy and state law in disciplining the students.

“From what I understand, they were considered pretty good kids,” Martin said. “But we have to take this seriously, whether they were serious or not about carrying this through, and that’s what we did.”

“We continue to do what we always do which is work to make our students aware that this is not appropriate and we ask our parents to help us. The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is very appropriate at this time,” says Martin.

Four mothers of other third-grade students at Center Elementary called for the immediate expulsion of the suspected plotters. Stacy Carter and Deana Hiott both cited school system policy stating that any student who brings “anything reasonably considered to be a weapon” is to be expelled for at least the remainder of the school year.

“We don’t want our children around them,” Carter told the Times-Union. “The one with the knife could have stabbed my child or someone else’s child at lunch or out on the playground.”

Mental health counselor Audrey Dearborn told a Georgia television station the allegations are alarming.

“Before you would see these types of behavior in high school. Now, we’ve skipped the middle school and gone right to the third grade,” Dearborn said.


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3 Responses to “3rd Graders Plot Against Teacher”

  1. ayana8294 said

    This is a tragedy. When are public officials going to understand that something MUST be done about the children we are teaching? I’m not understanding this Georgia law that will not allow for prosecution. I thought it very ironic that I filled out a school safety survey today and one of the questions was, “Do you feel safe in school?” My answer was absolutely not. This is ridiculous. Georgia law needs to be changed. If they are aware enough to gather the tools to harm someone, they are old enough to be prosecuted. These kids knew exactly what they were doing in spite of us being told/taught about a child’s brain development and not understanding what he/she does. Bullcrap!!! They know. It’s not until they get caught that they want to play stupid.

  2. msfriendly said

    I am in complete agreement with Ayana’s statement! Students, whether 8 or 18, know what they are doing if they are cognizant enough to premeditate the tools needed in order to carry out a plan. It is ALWAYS when they are caught, that they want to discover their innocence anew! For bird’s-eye-view of what it’s like to teach in my school, please visit

  3. Teach them at home so we can do our job! said

    My heart goes out to this teacher Belle. It is a war zone out there in the schools. Teachers like Belle and myself have often been the footstool to some degree over the years. But this is out of control! Parents and supporters of these kids probably have not sat in a class with them ALL DAY LONG and witnessed what they’re like in that setting. The thought that in a day and age of catastrophic events such as Columbine, people would attempt to minimize this in any way baffles me. I wish I could meet Belle and let her know that I truly understand. This is no light or laughing matter. She could have been seriously hurt. These kids need to learn a lesson and their parents need to teach them to do better at home before they really end up in the justice system.

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