UPDATE: None of the fifth-grade students authorities say hatched an "immature and unrealistic" threat to bomb a New Jersey high school with a mint tin filled with vegetable oil, salad dressing and cinnamon sticks will face criminal charges, prosecutors say. Police initially said that five students were involved and that all were arrested; prosecutors said Friday that only four students were involved and none of them were taken into custody or charged with any crimes. Click here to read the updated story.
Police in Clifton, New Jersey, say five fifth-grade students were arrested after they allegedly planned to set off explosives at the local high school.
According to Clifton police, the students at School 11 were found with written plans for attacks at Clifton High School.
Authorities say the students, at least two of whom are girls, brought a fake explosive device on a field trip to the high school. The device contained vinegar and cinnamon and was determined to be nonfunctioning.
The children have been released into the custody of their parents, but are suspended from school, police said.
Fellow students said that the children were crying as they were led out of the school by police.
"The bomb squad was there, and the cars and the kids were outside, and they were crying," said student Alyson Pineiro.
The schools superintendent said no one was in danger. Police said the plan wasn't a prank and that the intent was there, but the explosive device was inoperable.
A classmate at Clifton School 11, Yusuf Alnator, said Thursday, "I know the girls and they are good girls, and I don't think they would do something like that. They're on safety patrol."
At least one parent took her students out of school Thursday. Several parents said they were not notified of the alleged plot until they got a text message almost 24 hours after police got involved Wednesday morning.
"They said the children were safe and I questioned, why wasn't I aware?" said parent Maria Bajdas, who kept four of her children home from School 11 after telling administrators they failed by not notifying parents immediately of the alleged plot. "They said it was too many kids and parents and it would have been chaos."
"I would not like to have found out from the news," added parent Natalie Naranjo.
Police are investigating. At dismissal Thursday, a single Clifton police officer was on patrol.
"It's really, really scary," said parent Besa Cake. "They shouldn't be thinking about this. It's not good."