Olathe An attorney for two boys accused of threatening their teachers says the incidents simply amounted to pranks and comments taken too seriously.
Prosecutors appearing Friday in Johnson County District Court disagreed with defense attorney Stephen Mirakian's assessment on the Trailridge Middle School students - among five charged April 14 in connection with threats against teachers.
The prosecutors said the charges were warranted.
One of Mirakian's clients - a 14-year-old Shawnee boy - is charged with two misdemeanor counts of food adulteration for allegedly putting a liquid in the drink of a teacher twice in January. The attorney said a friend of the boy took a capful of a cherry sports drink and put it in the teacher's coffee.
The other student - a 14-year-old boy from Lenexa - is charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for allegedly making a threat in February on the online journal site Xanga against a teacher for assigning too much homework. Mirakian said the boy had no intent of actually harming the teacher.
"It was a prank," Mirakian said. "Was it appropriate? No. Is it the kind of things kids have been doing forever? Yes."
The three other students who were charged also appeared in court this week, but just long enough to be assigned a new court date in June or July. Two 13-year-old girls, both from Shawnee, are each charged with one felony count of criminal threat for allegedly threatening to kill a teacher for a grade in a posting on an online journal. The third boy faces a felony count of criminal threat and misdemeanors.
Assistant Dist. Atty. Scott Toth rejected Mirakian's comments that there was no reason to prosecute his clients.
"Teachers never should have to worry about their personal safety," Toth said.