Attempted Poisoning of Monroe Middle School Teacher

Thursday, April 12th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

Two 13 year-old boys are still in custody on suspicion of trying to poison a teacher. KOTV's Sean Mossman talked to one of the boy’s mothers Thursday.

The copper compound was sitting out on a science teacher's desk. That's when witnesses say two boys poured it into the teachers coffee cup. One of those boys mother says her son did do it, but it was an accident. She says her son was pretending to pour the chemical when another boy pushed his arm and made the chemical spill. The teacher was warned before he could drink the poison, but the boys are in jail facing possible charges.

One mother, Lisa McGoy, says her son is willing to take responsibility, but that the school should as well, and the NAACP agrees. "Because they had left a poison on the desks and the students got a hold of it, thinking it was just blue stuff. That blue stuff was poison." NAACP education chairperson Joyce Rogers says, "This is a 13 year old child, that if that poison wouldn't have been there would be home today." The boys were suspended immediately and will not be allowed back into Monroe until January.

As for those criminal charges, both boys will appear in Tulsa County District Court on Monday, but once again they are still being held on $50,000 bond apiece.

In a related matter, the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association responded Thursday to the incident at Monroe Middle School. The group objects to some of the language being used to describe what happened. KOTV's Education Reporter Glenda Silvey talked with the TCTA. TCTA's concern boils down to this, the use of the word "prank" in connection with what they say may have been an attempt to poison a teacher.

Monroe Principal Deborah Traylor and the teacher involved, Rodney Flud, both stated they believe the students were involved in a prank and didn't intend to harm Flud. TCTA says while no one knows for certain yet what the boys intended, a school safety issue is involved. Representatives met with a Tulsa Public Schools administrator Thursday morning to express their concerns.

TCTA president Sue Woodward says, "We just don't think that the attempted poisoning of a teacher is a prank or joke of any kind, and we also don't want that message to go to students, that it can be considered a joke or prank. There isn't an adult or teacher who would ever do or commit that kind of thing and have it be considered a joke or prank from an adult, and I don't think we want to pass that on to our teachers."

Woodward says TCTA believes the district's disciplinary action toward the students was appropriate, and handled well. She says the union plans to talk with Mr. Flud but has no plans at this time to pursue the matter further.

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