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Entries in Students (37)

Saturday
Feb162013

Students Accused of Bringing Weapons to School, Plotting to Kill Classmate

Kevin Horan/Stone(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- Two young boys are accused in court documents of planning to kill one of their female classmates at their elementary school in Washington state.

The boys, ages 10 and 11, devised a plan to lure their female classmate away from Fort Colville Elementary School in Washington in order to kill her, school officials said, according to court documents released this week.

The 11-year-old told school officials that he and his accomplice had been planning their attack, initially citing what they considered the girl's annoying personality to school officials as their motive to kill, according to the documents.

Their plan unraveled Feb. 7, however, after a fourth-grader witnessed the 11-year-old removing a knife from his backpack on the school bus the morning of their planned attack, according to the documents. The student informed a teacher of the sighting upon arriving to school, which is when the two boys' backpacks were searched.

A knife, a .45 semi-automatic pistol and a full ammunition clip were discovered in the 10-year-old's backpack, the court papers said.

The 11-year-old allegedly explained the plan to school officials.

"I was going to kill her with the knife and [the 10-year-old] was supposed to use the gun to keep anyone from trying to stop me or mess up our plan," the 11-year-old said, according to court records.

The two boys allegedly told a third student of their plot, offering to pay him $80 if he remained silent on the proposed plan, prosecutors said.

The boys both told officers, according to the court documents, that although they had been friends with their main, female target for several months, she became rude and began to pick on them, which triggered their rage.

The 10-year-old boy said he obtained the firearm from the room of his older brother, who had taken the weapon from their dead grandfather's home a few months prior, prosecutors said. Officers confirmed the weapon was registered to the grandfather's name.

The two boys were taken to Coleville's juvenile detention facility, Martin Hall, where they were being held on a $100,000 bond, according to court records and Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness and conspiracy to possess a firearm, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Attorneys for the two boys declined to comment on the accusations.

Rasmussen told ABC News that in the state of Washington, there is a presumption that children between the ages of 8 to 12 do not have the mental capacity to understand crimes they are planning to commit. After the age of 12, a child is deemed to have that mental capacity.

A mental capacity hearing has been scheduled for the two boys on Feb. 20. At that meeting, evidence will be presented to determine whether or not the mental capacity presumption can be overturned. Several factors, such as the age and maturity of the suspects, if they knew the acts involved were inherently wrong, and whether there was an attempt for secrecy, are just a few factors to be considered, said Rasmussen.

If convicted, however, the boys could be incarcerated in a juvenile hall, possibly up to the age of 18.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec152012

Newtown Students Heard Principal's Murder Over Intercom

ABC News(NEWTOWN, Conn.) -- An open school intercom broadcast to students at Sandy Hook Elementary School the murder of their principal and the terrified cries of other children.

It's not clear whether the intercom was turned on purposefully to alert the school's staff to the menace or whether the intercom was on for morning announcements.

Either way, it caught the initial moments of Adam Lanza's lethal fury and gave teachers and others life saving moments to lock their doors and try to hide their children.

Among Lanza's first victims was school principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47. Third grader Tori Chop tells ABC News that she could hear her principal's final moments as Lanza barged in with his weapons.

"We kept hearing gun noises and 'put your hands up'…we kept hearing that," said Chop.

Chop's teacher Teri Alves, like other staff in the school, sprang into action.

"She went out to the door, she locked the door and taped a piece of white tape over the window of the door," Chop said of her teacher. "And then she told us to go in the corner."

As the students listened to the rampage unfold, Alves tried to sooth them.

"She's just saying it's going to be okay," Chop said. "Just be quiet."

"We were in the corner all scrouched in, and all the girls were crying, and a couple of boys. The boys had their eyes wide open, watching everything," she said.

Lanza killed 20 children and six adults, including Hochsprung, before shooting himself. Lanza's mother was also found murdered in their home.

Chop believes it was her teachers' swift reaction to the broadcast that kept her and her classmates alive and wants to tell Alves she is grateful.

"I want to say, you saved my life. There's 19 people in our class," Chop said. "And she saved all of us."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec032012

Five States to Add 300 Hours to School Calendar Next Year

John Coletti/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Five states are slated to announce on Monday that they will add at least 300 hours of classroom time to the school calendar next year in an effort to boost student achievement.

Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee have agreed to take part in the initiative, which will be implemented in 40 schools.  Each school will have the option to either extend the school day or add days to the school year.

Jennifer Davis of the National Center on Time and Learning, one of the nonprofits funding the program, says "This is a very important step forward in education reform across America."

"A variety of research is showing that schools that implement more time will show significant gains with students across the board," she says.

Davis says the added time will allow students to "get more time with teachers to help them with whatever challenges they may face," and will open the door to "broader opportunities in the arts and music and a variety of other enrichment programs."

She expects other states and districts will follow suit over time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

UC Davis Settlement: Pepper-Sprayed Students Will Get $30K

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DAVIS, Calif.) -- The University of California regents will pay about $1 million to 21 UC Davis current and former students who were pepper-sprayed during a peaceful campus protest last November.

A video of the incident that went viral shows an officer casually walking up to and aiming a thick stream of the spray directly into the faces of seated students at close range during an Occupy rally.  The incident triggered outrage and an investigation by the university.

In the settlement, each student who filed suit will each receive $30,000 and a handwritten apology from UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

In addition, the university system has agreed to pay $250,000 for the students’ legal fees.

According to the deal reached earlier this month, the university has set aside $100,000 for additional students hit in the incident who wish to submit claims as a part of the class-action suit.  Those students are set to receive up to $20,000 each depending of the number who come forward.

In the agreement obtained by ABC News, students involved in the November incident will receive “reasonable assistance and counseling” for the “academic performance issues that allegedly arose as a result of the incident.”

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SETTLEMENT ]

The settlement comes as a result of the Nov. 18 Occupy protest at UC Davis.  Students encamped in the university’s quad in protest of rising tuition costs, were warned to leave before being pepper sprayed by campus police.

According the settlement, the university believes “they acted reasonably and with good intentions, without violating the rights.”

The papers filed Wednesday morning will not become official until approved by a federal judge.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

Parents Want Teacher Fired After Bullying of Son Caught on Tape

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(TACOMA, Wash.) -- The parents of a Washington middle school student who was recorded in what appears to be a bullying incident where he is seen being dragged around the room and has a sock stuffed in his mouth are outraged that the teacher, who they believe joined in, is still on the job.

The video taken by fellow students on their cell phones of Karla Kinney's 13-year-old son being dragged across the classroom is disturbing. But what really outrages Kinney and her husband is that a teacher was there too and they say he joined in.

"When I drop my kids off I'm dropping them off as a parent handing my kids to a school that is going to take care of them," Kinney told ABC News.

The incident happened in a middle school near Tacoma, Wash., in February, but is just now coming to light following a district investigation.

At a time in the video -- which goes on for at least 15 minutes -- it seems as if the boy is playing along. Kinney's son is at one point heard saying, "yeah do that … do what Eric's doing, not my arm."

But in the video a handful of students are also seen writing on her son's feet, holding a pillow over his face and covering him with chairs.

John Rossi, the teacher in the room at the time, had been an educator for 18 years. In the video he is seemingly mugging for the phone cameras. He managed to avoid losing his job by accepting a 10-day suspension, according to memos from the Peninsula school district.

Kinney said that her son was very upset following the incident, and that the other students blamed him.

"He said he wanted to kill himself," she said. "The kids had blamed him for this popular teacher and the suspension he received."

Rossi, who told ABC News he's not allowed to comment, wrote in a letter to investigators.

"I can honestly say that at the time I did not believe that any of the children were at risk of harm during their interactions. Nor did I view the incident as anything more than harmless childhood horseplay," he wrote.

Chuck Cuzzetto, Peninsula school district's superintendent, said that "pretty significant disciplinary action" was taken.

Kinney says that she and her husband feel that the entire matter has been made worse by the fact that Rossi is now back at another school.

"I think that somebody who can allow this to happen and participate has no business being in a classroom," Kinney said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug172012

Texas Teacher Gets 5 Years in Prison in Group Sex Scandal

ABC News(NEW YORK) - A Texas high school teacher and mother of three was sentenced Friday to five years behind bars after a jury found her guilty of having sex with five male students, four of whom she had group sex with while being videotaped.

Brittni Colleps, 28, a former English teacher, was convicted of 16 counts of having improper relationships with students. Since the young men were all 18 at the time, she was not charged with statutory rape.

The jury did not recommend a fine or community supervision.

The case against Colleps has been filled with graphic testimony and cellphone video that allegedly showed Colleps having group sex with the four students in her home during April and May 2011. The fifth student had a sexual encounter with Colleps on a separate occasion.

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Prosecutors said the group sex occurred while her children and husband, an Army specialist, were away.

The video was shown to the jury this week.

Colleps's mother and husband both testified during the sentencing hearing after she was convicted.

"Have mercy on her as someone who has done nothing wrong except in that time period," Shirley Bush, Colleps's mother, said in court. "Have mercy on her kids; they don't understand this. She's a generous person. When I went through cancer she was seven months pregnant and she shaved her head. She is a loving daughter, a loving wife, regardless of what happened in this situation."

Christopher Colleps, Brittni's husband, said that he was working to forgive his wife for what she did. Though the couple had engaged in legal group sex with other adults together, he felt wronged by her actions with her students, he said.

"I'm asking you to give her probation. It's not my fault or her children's, and taking her away from us is punishing us," he said. "Brittni saved my life before I met her. I was doing bad things and when I met Brittni she gave me someone to love and care about."

Christopher Colleps said the couple's children had been staying with his sister for the past week. The couple told their children that their mother "did bad things and might need to go away." He said that the couple would work through Colleps' punishment together, whatever it was.

During the trial, students from Kennednale High School, where she taught and coached sports, testified about how the relationships began.

One of those students said his relationship began with an innocent text message. "Hey… It's Coach Colleps. Do you know what time the baseball game starts?"

Soon after that the student said that he and Colleps were exchanging almost 100 texts a day. The prosecutor said that the relationship progressed into explicit text messages and then an agreement to meet for sex.

One of the young men she was accused of sleeping with publicly stated that she didn't commit a crime.

"She said that she craved, that I had something that she wanted," said another.

The men were not identified during the trial.

One student testified during sentencing, telling the judge that he did not want to see Colleps go to jail.

"I don't want to see her do jail time, probation is enough for me," said the man. He said he felt responsible for what had happened to Colleps.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug172012

Texas Teacher Convicted of Group Sex With Students

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A jury found a Texas high school teacher and mother of three guilty today of having sex with four male students while being videotaped.

Brittni Colleps, 28, a former English teacher, was convicted of 16 counts of having improper relationships with students. Since the men were all 18 at the time of the sexual relationships, she was not charged with statutory rape.

The case against Colleps has been filled with graphic testimony and cell phone video that allegedly showed Colleps having group sex with the four students in her home during April and May of 2011.

Prosecutors said the group sex occurred while her children and husband, an Army specialist, were away.

The video was shown to the jury this week.

Colleps faces 20 years in prison for the convictions and is expected to be sentenced later today.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug162012

Texas Teacher Accused of Having Group Sex with Students on Video

ABC News(DALLAS) -- A former Texas high school English teacher and mother of three is on trial, accused of having sex with five male students.

The evidence against Brittni Colleps, 28, includes cellphone video that allegedly shows group sex between her and four students at her home.  Prosecutors say it happened while her children and husband, who is an Army specialist stationed out-of-state, were away.  The graphic video was shown to the jury this week.

“She [Colleps] said that she craved, that I had something that she wanted,” one of the students involved testified.

Police say the alleged incident took place at her Arlington, Texas home in April and May of 2011, according to ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV.  Since all of the students were 18 at the time of the alleged incident, Colleps is not facing statutory rape charges.  Instead, she has been hit with five counts of having an improper relationship with a student.

One student told WFAA that one of the teenage boys was bragging about the alleged incident and another student put the claim in her diary.  A teacher at the school found the diary in a classroom and that’s when the school notified police.

Some of the students, who were attending Kennendale High School, took the stand on Tuesday but were not identified because of their ages and the nature of the crime, according to WFAA.

One of those students said his relationship began with an innocent text message: “Hey… It’s Coach Colleps.  Do you know what time the baseball game starts?”

Soon after that, the student says that he and Colleps were exchanging almost 100 texts a day.  The prosecutor says that the relationship progressed into explicit text messages and then an agreement to meet for sex.

One of the young men she is accused of sleeping with has publicly stated that she didn’t commit a crime.

Colleps’ husband, Christopher, is sticking by his wife despite the accusations.

“If you know Brittni, you know she’s an empathetic loving, loyal person.  Brittni is a loving mother and continuously puts the needs of our children above her own,” Christopher Colleps said before the trial began.

Brittni Colleps was suspended by the school district and her contract was not renewed this year, so she is out of work during the trial.  If convicted, she could spend 20 years in prison.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Teacher Accused of Ordering Students to Haze, Assault Others

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(FONTANA, Calif.) -- More students than initially suspected were assaulted in a high school hazing incident in which a teacher and four students were arrested, police said Monday.

Detectives in Fontana, Calif., have identified at least three students who they say were victims of classroom assaults beginning May 31, the first day of summer school at AB Miller High School.

Police have not released the details of the incidents, but say the hazing occurred over the course of the past three weeks. Public booking records for the arrested teacher and one 18-year-old student, however, shed some light on the severity of the attacks including "attempted sodomy."

On Saturday, technology teacher Emmanuel De La Rosa, 27, was arrested and charged with child cruelty. Four other students were also charged, including Fernando Manuel Selgado, 18, who was charged with assault, child cruelty and attempted sodomy, according to arrest records.

The three other students were minors and their names have not been made public.

"We have reason to believe this was a hazing incident," Fontana police spokesman Robert Morris told ABC News. "The teacher, we believe, knew about the hazing and in some cases over saw it and facilitated it."

Morris said that on at least one occasion it appeared that De La Rosa ordered students to haze their classmates in order to discipline them.

"If there were behavioral issues in the classroom and the teacher wanted students to conform to certain rules, he may have given directions," Morris said.

Fontana school district police alerted city authorities about reports of hazing on Saturday morning. By Saturday evening Fontana police had arrested De La Rosa and four students.

Morris said detectives continue to interview students and the number of victims and suspects could rise.

Counselors were on hand Monday morning to talk to students in De La Rosa's masonry class, school district Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks told ABC News.

De La Rosa was a regular faculty member in the school's technology department. Citing privacy concerns Olsen-Binks could not comment on De La Rosa's tenure at the school or if he had been the focus of disciplinary procedures, but said he was "very popular" and "his students have had great success."

There were between 20 and 25 students in his class this summer. The term ends on Friday.

"This is an isolated incident," said the superintendent. "We are very concerned and don't take these allegations lightly. Our concern is for the students first and foremost."

Following the police investigation, the school will conduct its own internal investigation, she said.

De La Rosa posted $100,000 bail and was released on Saturday. Calls to his home were not answered.

Selgado remains in custody at a jail in Rancho Cucamonga. Neither man has been arraigned or entered a plea, nor does either have a lawyer at this time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr182012

Cops Take Schoolkids’ DNA in Murder Case

ABC(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Samples of DNA were collected without parental consent from students at a Sacramento, Calif., middle school in connection with the murder of an eighth-grade student who was found stabbed, strangled and beaten to death near the dugout of a local park.

The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, which has been spearheading the investigation into the murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam, 13, said parental consent was not required in the DNA collection and interview of minors, several of whom were taken out of class during the day last week at Albert Einstein Middle School.

“These are interviews, not interrogations,” Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Ramos told ABCNews.com. “They are all consensual. Once it’s done, there is a mechanism in place for school administrators to notify parents.”

Ramos said the DNA collection was done at the time of the interview so efforts didn’t have to be “duplicated.” Ramos cautioned that the collection did not necessarily mean authorities had a DNA profile of the suspect.

Over the past few weeks, police have sifted through a number of leads and alibis but have been unable to name a suspect in Jessica’s murder.

The teen’s body was found at Rosemont Community Park on the morning of March 6. Jessica was reportedly arguing with her mother the night before and voluntarily left her home and boarded local transportation to a local park.

There is nothing under California law that prohibits DNA collection of consenting minors, said John Myers, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

“I think the answer is, kids can consent, and if they consented and it was knowing and intelligent, [law enforcement] can do the search,” he told the Sacramento Bee.

Ramos said last week’s DNA collection was not the first time detectives visited the school and that he expects they’ll be back for more follow-up.

He declined to say how many students have been interviewed, but said students who spoke with detectives were sent home with contact information to give to their parents.

“The parents have been completely supportive of it, in fact advocating our detectives do that for the benefit of excluding their children,” Ramos said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.”

But one parent who said her son was interviewed wasn’t happy with the process.

“My child’s in a room with two detectives being questioned and grilled and I’m sure he was quite frightened, which is very upsetting,” Michaela Brown told the Los Angeles Times.

Gabe Ross of the Sacramento City Unified School District said the school immediately made efforts to notify parents by phone and also sent home a letter. However, Ross said the school would not stand in the way of the investigation.

“We’re not in a position to interfere in any way with the law enforcement investigation. If and when law enforcement wants to interview our students, we inform parents immediately,” Ross said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio