LAKE STATION, Ind. (AP) -- Police say three first-grade students were plotting to kill a classmate, even going so far as drawing a crude map of where slaying was to take place.
Three girls at Virgil I. Bailey Elementary School had planned to kill a rival 7-year-old classmate in a wooded area near the school today because they were jealous of her, police said Wednesday.
They planned to shoot her, but they also discussed killing her with a butcher knife or hanging her, said Lake Station Police Lt. Rich Arnold.
''They were going to kill her somehow,'' said Police Chief Jim Strine. ''They drew a map of where they were going to do it.
''We're dealing with first-graders here. It's crazy and scary.''
No weapons were found in a search of the school. But Arnold said police in this northwestern Indiana city took the incident ''very seriously.''
The three students were suspended Wednesday, a day after a parent alerted school officials of the plan. No criminal charges were expected to be filed.
The three girls admitted their involvement in the murder plot, said Lake Station Superintendent Charles Costa.
The girls had formed a ''hate club'' dedicated to killing the classmate, and were trying to recruit members, but Costa said he believes the trio was acting alone in the scheme.
Parent Doug Greider said his daughter had been approached by one of the girls Tuesday and asked to join the club, as had other girls in the class. He said his daughter did not want to speak up about the club because she was afraid of being hurt herself.
''There were a lot of girls involved in this,'' Greider said. ''This was going to happen, no matter what.''
The girls had made two drawings, which Costa said were too childlike to be called maps, illustrating the school and the nearby woods.
The parents of all four girls met Wednesday with a Lake Station detective, the school's principal, another school official and a counselor.
Parents helped locate the girls' two drawings, one found at school and the other in one of the girl's homes. The school, student backpacks and desks were searched for weapons, but none were found, Costa said.
The school has 197 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, including 26 first-grade students.
The three girls were suspended for three days, but cannot return until the school gets a letter from a health care professional stating they are not a danger to other student.
The father of the 7-year-old girl targeted said his wife met Wednesday with school officials, who asked her if she wanted to transfer her daughter to another school.
The girl's mother chose to keep her daughter at the school because most of the girl's friends attend the school.
''Ten years ago, stuff like this didn't happen,'' said the 25-year-old man, who asked not to be identified. ''But kids are getting shot. I think it could have happened.''
In February, police say a 6-year-old shot and killed classmate Kayla Rolland in Mount Morris Township, Mich., after he obtained a gun from home. Three men have been indicted for possessing the gun that was used in the shooting.
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