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Talk of poisoned water gets student suspended



A student at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Academy School District 20 was suspended for an undisclosed time late in the school year after admitting to an assistant principal he told other students he put rat poison in the water bottle of a French teacher.

D-20 officials refuse to answer questions about the incident, saying that they're barred by privacy laws from disclosing information about the April 29 incident.

One teacher, who declined to be named, reported that the district told teachers nothing about the incident, and teachers were left to guess why the student wasn't in school.

"The incident in question was thoroughly investigated by school administrators and police," the district says in a written statement. "No illegal or dangerous substances were found and there was no evidence to indicate that the safety of others was in question."

District spokeswoman Nanette Anderson refused to say why teachers weren't notified. "I do understand teachers' concerns for their safety and we take those concerns seriously," she said in an e-mail.

The police report states the boy told several students he had placed rat poison in substitute teacher Kate Barns' water bottle, but he later told assistant principal Brian Wright he "would never really do that" and that "it was just a joke," the police report says. Barns told police she had sent the boy to the office a couple of times for "being disruptive" but didn't know about the water bottle incident. She later told police she didn't want the child in her classroom. He was suspended and removed from her class.

The incident comes after three fourth-graders at Academy Endeavor Elementary in D-20 hatched a plan to bury a classmate alive on a playground, according to local news reports. The students were disciplined.

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