Tulsa Police arrest 14-year-olds for alleged poisoning

Wednesday, April 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Tulsa police arrested two 14-year-old alternative school students on Tuesday after they allegedly poisoned a teacher's drink and a fish tank.

The boys, whose names were not released, allegedly planned the poisoning on Monday, Officer Lucky Lamons said.

While the teacher received warning that his drink was tainted and didn't get sick, the fish seemed to become ill, police said.

An officer called to the school Tuesday morning was told that three students had gotten angry with social studies teacher David Birkes because they received detention.

A preliminary investigation indicated that only two of the students went through with the plot, allegedly pouring glass cleaner and an all-purpose spray cleaner into the fish tank and the teacher's drink, which was sitting on his desk, according to police reports.

``Later the teacher noticed some bubbles in the fish tank and questioned out loud why it happened,'' Lamons said. ``The fish were on the bottom of the tank, and they were not moving very much.''

A student in the class passed the teacher an anonymous note naming the students who were responsible, Lamons said.

The students were asked about the allegations and admitted to putting the cleaners into the aquarium and the drink, Tulsa Public Schools spokesman John Hamill said.

The boys were taken to Tulsa's Juvenile Detention Center on complaints of attempted poisoning of a teacher, Lamons said.

``We take things like this very seriously, and the two suspects will be dealt with appropriately,'' Hamill said.

School officials will explore discipline options after investigating the allegations and a meeting with the accused students and their parents, Hamill said.

Last year, two Tulsa middle school students were suspended for putting a chemical into their teacher's cup while he was out of the room. Other students warned the teacher when he returned.