Deputies: Pasco teen tried to poison teacher

The Achieve Center of Pasco in Spring Hill.
The Achieve Center of Pasco in Spring Hill.

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 13-year-old Pasco County girl is accused of trying to poison her teacher. Investigators with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office say the teen is a student at the Achieve Center of Pasco in Spring Hill.

“Thinking that a student contemplated putting something in a teacher’s drink that may or may not have serious physical effects is stunning,” Pasco County School official Linda Cobbe said.

Deputies say on Sept. 16 the girl took a piece of beige sidewalk chalk used for a class assignment and refined it into powder form. Investigators say the girl distracted her teacher by pointing to the other side of the room and asking a question about a photo of the victim’s family. The suspect then put the powdered chalk into her teacher’s coffee, according to the sheriff’s office.

Officials say the teen then left the classroom to get on her bus.

When the teacher began to take a sip of the coffee, another student stopped her. “If she hadn’t witnessed it and then stopped the teacher from taking a drink out of the cup, then the teacher could have become ill,” Cobbe said.

The student told deputies on multiple occasions she hated the teacher.

Parents who live in the area couldn’t believe what happened. “I just can’t imagine a student so unhappy with their teacher that she would want to poison her,” Cheryl Good said.

“The teachers today live in fear of their students, sometimes. It’s kind of frightening because even the parents aren’t backing up the teachers the way they should,” grandparent Elizabeth Vener said.

The student is charged with one count of poisoning food or water to kill or injure a person.

Cobbe said the Achieve center of Pasco is a school for teens with behavioral and emotional issues, but she  never thought a student would want to hurt a teacher.

Cobbe said the teen will be expelled. “It’s troubling when any student takes action that could physically harm a teacher, a younger student is even more shocking. Clearly, this little girl has troubles that hopefully she can get help for,” Cobbe said.

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