NEW YORK (Reuters) – Five fifth-grade students in New Jersey were detained by police for allegedly plotting to set off an explosive device during a field trip to a local high school, according to local media.
The students, all 10 or 11 years old, attend School 11 in Clifton, New Jersey and were detained on Wednesday.
Police said they built what they thought was an explosive device and brought it to school, planning to use it on a field trip to the city’s high school.
Clifton Detective Sergeant Robert Bracken told the New Jersey newspaper The Record that the device was harmless but the kids apparently “thought it was capable of doing damage.”
School officials discovered papers at the school on Wednesday morning that allegedly detailed the plot, police told The Record.
“Their intent was to bring the device to school and cause damage inside the auditorium where people were,” the newspaper quoted Bracken as saying.
The students have not been charged, police said. They were released to their parents and suspended.
The Record also reported that parents who arrived at school on Thursday complained that the school had not notified them of the incident.
Clifton’s schools superintendent and local police did not immediately return calls for comment on Thursday. The five fifth-grade students were not identified.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Andrew Hay)