Middle school students charged for threats against teachers

? Five middle-school students have been charged in connection with threats against teachers.

Two 13-year-old girls, both from Shawnee, were each charged with one felony count of criminal threat in Johnson County District Court. They allegedly threatened to kill a teacher over a grade in a Jan. 17 posting on an online journal Web site.

Three 14-year-old boys were charged in two separate incidents where a liquid substance was placed in a teacher’s coffee pot. One incident occurred Jan. 5, the other Jan. 26.

Dist. Atty. Paul Morrison said filing charges against the students, who attend Trailridge Middle School in Lenexa, a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., was appropriate.

“We’re trying to make a statement,” he said. “Teachers have a right to feel safe in their classrooms.”

Authorities did not release the names of those charged Friday because of their ages. One boy, from Lenexa, faces one felony count of criminal threat and misdemeanors. The others face misdemeanors.

The felony charge against the 14-year-old boy involved Internet messages threatening a teacher’s life, coupled with allegations that a substance had been placed in a teacher’s drink, Morrison said.