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Three Florida Middle Schoolers Arrested For Allegedly Poisoning Their Teacher's Soda

The teacher became sick after drinking soda laced with red pepper, officials said.

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Three 12-year-old girls in Florida were arrested Friday for allegedly poisoning their middle school teacher by lacing her soda with red pepper.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook that the three Deltona Middle School students will be charged with felonies and taken to juvenile detention over the alleged poisoning on Tuesday.

Officials said the plan was hatched after the teacher, 52-year-old Jayne Morgan, sent a student to the principal's office on Monday for dumping glue onto another student's bag and over the alleged theft of a laptop.

"It should be noted, this act was done in retaliation for the teacher upholding her duties and responsibilities as a teacher, maintaining control of her classroom and attempting to protect the other children from [one of the girl's] unacceptable behavior," investigators wrote in their affidavit, according to the Sheriff's office.

On Tuesday, the girl allegedly brought some "crushed red pepper" from home and then enlisted two friends to help her seek revenge.

During second period, officials said one of the girls distracted the teacher while the student sent to the principal and her other friend took the teacher's open can of soda and poured in the flakes.

"When Morgan took a drink of the tampered soda on Tuesday, her throat immediately became hot and scratchy and she started to choke and experience shortness of breath," the Sheriff's office said. "After taking a second sip, the teacher poured the rest of the soda into a clear plastic cup and noticed the flecks of red pepper."

The teacher continued to suffer from a "sore, scratchy throat and stomach pains" into the evening, officials said.

After officials began investigating the incident on Thursday, the girls were arrested the following day.

The two girls who allegedly dumped the pepper in the can are facing charges of "poisoning food or water and tampering with consumer products," while the other will be charged with "tampering with consumer products and being a principal to poisoning food or water."

In a statement to NBC, Morgan said she didn't intend for her students to be arrested.

"I want them to have a consequence that teaches them a lesson. I did not want them to be arrested and go to jail," she said. "I love my students. They broke my heart. My career won't be the same."

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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