Hearing Today on 10-Year Old Boy

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A bench trial is set for Monday in Arlington, VA, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in the case of one of the two Randolph Elementary School 5th graders charged with putting hand soap in their teacher's water bottle.

The 10-year-old and his parents, Rosa and Luis Hernandez, represented by a Rutherford Institute attorney, will appear at a closed hearing before presiding Judge Esther Wiggins.

The 5th grader is charged with "trying to kill or injure" his teacher by "adulterating" his drinking water. In Virginia, the charge is a felony that carries a penalty of 5-to-20 years in jail and a fine of $100,000 if convicted.

Under the "zero tolerance" policies in place at the school, the incident was reported to the resource officer at the school who then reported it to Arlington Police. After an investigation, it was decided to proceed with felony charges against both boys. Judge Wiggins has issued a "gag order" in the case.

Rutherford Institute president John Whitehead said, "Charging children with felonies for juvenile pranks is absolutely unreasonable and illogical. As parents and educators, we must utilize a common sense standard when it comes to disciplining our children for minor infractions. Common sense is what is missing in this situation."

The Rutherford Institute, handling defense of the two boys, is conservative public interest law firm.