this story happened less than 5 miles from my damb house......
look what my daughter has too look foward too.
Pupils to face charges in alleged plot to slash classmate
By Paul Kirby, Freeman staff
SAUGERTIES - Criminal charges are expected to be filed soon against five sixth-graders accused of plotting to cut a classmate's throat on an elementary school playground, Ulster County Attorney Joshua Koplovitz said on Tuesday.
Koplovitz said paperwork will be filed in Ulster County Family Court charging the five Mount Marion Elementary School pupils with conspiracy as juvenile delinquents.
Meanwhile, Saugerties Superintendent of Schools Richard Rhau confirmed on Tuesday that the weapons alleged to have been found in the accused children's book bags were not razor blades, as initially reported, but blades from disassembled pencil sharpeners that were attached to pipe cleaners.
Rhau would not comment further on the would-be weapons but said that, either way, it's a serious matter.
"It is the intent that we are concerned about," Rhau said. "It concerns me."
District residents voiced concerns about the alleged plot during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening at Saugerties Junior-Senior High School.
Frank Rea of Saugerties said the incident was telling of the way school life is headed. He said school metal detectors are next.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the threat is here," Rea told the board. "You people better get on the ball. The warning lights are blinking."
Koplovitz said his office has obtained a court order of protection against the five children accused in the plot, requiring that they stay away from Ethan Travis, the 13-year-old sixth-grader who was the alleged target. Koplovitz would not discuss the case in detail but said the charges stemmed from the plot first reported publicly by Ethan and his family.
Cindy Travis, the boy's mother, said she was "relieved" about the order.
"I am happy that this has happened, and I think now my son will be safe," Travis said on Tuesday. "I am hoping that this is going to be a way for my son and the other kids to feel safe in school settings."
Travis, her son and his father, Rankin Travis, had reported that the five youngsters plotted to slit the boy's throat with razor blades on a playground during recess last week. Ethan reported the incident to Mount Marion Elementary School Principal Timothy Farley on May 8.
The family said the suspected plotters were suspended, but they argued that the five - three girls and two boys - should be expelled.
The plot was hatched, the family said, after Ethan asked a girl to go out with him, angering the girl's ex-boyfriend.
Rhau said on Tuesday that it was unfortunate the five youngsters had to become part of the criminal justice system.
"I am very sad that this had to happen to such young children," he said. "Nevertheless, I think all parents and kids have to understand that when (children) plan these egregious acts, there is a penalty to be paid for it."
At the school board meeting, Cindy Travis told trustees she was angered that she did not receive a telephone call or any sort of apology from board members. She implored the board to re-examine its policies and stiffen the penalty for such acts.
She also questioned whether other children would be safe going to school.
Board President Michael Brennan said that while school board members could not comment on the specifics of the case, he was emphatic about the safety issue.
JoAnn Van Buren, whose daughter attends the elementary school, said it didn't matter whether the weapons were razor blades or dangerous implements fashioned from pencil sharpener parts.
"It is the thought of it," Van Buren said.