A 10-year-old Colleton County girl is accused of placing crushed prescription pills and possible poisons in her teacher's drink to get back at her for switching the girl to a different class, authorities said.
Laura Tew, a fourth grade teacher at Hendersonville Elementary School, told sheriff's deputies she began to feel ill on Feb. 24 but continued working until her symptoms grew worse, forcing her to call in sick two days later.
She was recovering at home when her principal called and explained that one of her students had been bragging that she had "taken care" of Tew, authorities said. The girl told other students that Tew wouldn't be coming back to school because of something the girl put in the teacher's drink, according to a police report.
When questioned, the student told the principal she had crushed different types of prescription medications and other possible poisons and placed them in her teacher's drink. The student said she was mad at Tew for switching her to a different class and was intentionally trying to harm her, a police report stated.
The girl has not been formally charged with a crime, but prosecutors are preparing a petition to take to a Family Court hearing on March 25, said Daniel Brownstein, spokesman for 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone. She will either be charged with administering or attempting to administer poison or tampering with human drug products or food items, he said. Both are felonies, and an adult would face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of these offenses, he said.
Brownstein said witnesses heard the girl brag about poisoning Tew and some apparently saw her place something in the teacher's drink.
The girl remains with her parents. State law prohibits authorities from incarcerating a child younger than 11.
School district officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the student's status or the condition of the teacher. Tew sought medical treatment after being alerted to the alleged poisoning and had her doctor run a screening for toxic substances, according to a police report.