5 New Jersey fifth-graders arrested in plot to blow up high school

5 New Jersey fifth-graders arrested in plot to blow up high school

From the if-a-tree-falls-in-the-forest files: A group of fifth-graders in Clifton, N.J., decided that their field trip to the city’s high school on Wednesday deserved to go off with a bang, not a whimper.

So the little darlings, which included one female, concocted a device using cinnamon and vinegar that they were led to believe would explode.

The Bergen Record spoke with Clifton Police Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken, who said he has “no idea” where the students got the plans for “their bomb.”

School officials discovered papers around 9 a.m. Wednesday, allegedly detailing plans to bring the device to Clifton High School and set it off, … Bracken said. The device was found at the school, he said.

The device, he added, contained no explosives and ultimately “wasn’t dangerous to anybody” but that the children, aged 10 or 11, “thought it was capable of doing damage. Their intent was to … cause damage inside the auditorium where people were.”

The five students have all been suspended and, thus far, reportedly in the custody of their families. The Bergen record indicates that no charges have been brought so far and that the case has been turned over to the county prosecutor’s office. But WABC in New York reports that the children have been arrested.

In any case, the incident makes you wonder when such relatively harmless pranks such as setting off a stink bomb became too uncool for school.

No information is available on the ethnicity of the students, but since Clifton is a predominantly white community, chances are that they are not members of a protected class and, therefore, unlikely to receive a tweet from the president commending them on their “cool bomb.”

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.