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Police Probe Alleged Plot To Sicken Bucks County Students On Class Trip

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Police in Bucks County investigate alleged plot to sicken students on class trip.

Police in Bucks County investigate alleged plot to sicken students on class trip.

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NEWTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Police in Newtown Township, Bucks County are trying to figure out if any parents of students at Goodnoe Elementary School actually plotted to poison the students when they go on a field trip next month.

The students were supposed to have lunch aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia on the Delaware River while visiting the historic sites of Philadelphia, but that cruise has now been canceled as police investigate an anonymous, hand-written letter detailing a poison plot.

“Basically the letter indicated that two parents were conspiring to sicken the children on a school trip on the Spirit of Philadelphia,” said Newtown Township Police Chief Rick Pasqualini. “The letter goes that the children will be sickened during the cruise.”

Valerie Levesque reports…

The letter was sent a few weeks ago to the Chicago Headquarters of Entertainment Cruises, the company that operates the Spirit of Philadelphia and similar cruise ships across the nation. The letter says the goal of the plot is money: the parents, whose own children would be sickened, would then sue the cruise company.

“I was appalled. I was shocked,” said Susan DiJulia, who is planning to go on the field trip with her sixth grade daughter. “This just seems so bizarre. Why would someone do something like this?”

But other parents think it might just be a hoax.

“It’s malarkey,” said Ken Snyder, whose son will go on the trip. “It would have to be a chaperone. Otherwise, how else are you going to do it? And who’s going to sicken their own kid? I don’t buy it.”

The Council Rock School District and police department, however, are taking the threat seriously. No one from the district would speak with Eyewitness News on camera, but a statement says the cruise portion of the field trip has been canceled. Sixth grade classes at eight of Council Rock’s 10 elementary schools were planning to make the trip, but now the district will have to make other lunch arrangements for all of those students.

A statement from the Spirit of Philadelphia said that the threat was isolated to just Goodnoe Elementary School but “this was obviously disturbing for all of us … Safety is our number one priority.”

Reported by Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3

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