Conspiracy to Commit Murder

KNOB NOSTER, Mo. ( -- Two 12-year-old boys have been accused of devising "a well thought-out plot" to kill teachers at the Knob Noster Middle School.

Police Chief Brian Kniskern said that several other students were involved in the discussions but most did not take the plan seriously. A total of seven youths were questioned.

The boys agreed to bring weapons to school along with popcorn and soda, Kniskern said, and there were rumors among students about "guns, knives and bombs." But in the end, the only one to fulfill his obligation was a boy who brought a knife. He was arrested Tuesday morning when he arrived at school.

"They were actually planning to get explosives," Kniskern said. "But only two took it seriously. The rest were just being kids."

The two boys who were arrested remained in custody today in a county juvenile detention facility, charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Their names are not being released because of their ages. Kniskern said that one had previous brushes with the law but the other did not.

'Excellent kids'

The plot came to light when parents of some of the students involved learned about it and called an assistant principal at the middle school Monday night.

"Most of the kids in town are excellent kids," Kniskern said. "It's because of the kids themselves that we found out."

Knob Noster is a small town about 65 miles east of Kansas City and next to Whiteman Air Force Base. While about 60 percent of the families in town include active-duty or retired Air Force personnel, the two boys under arrest came from civilian families, Kniskern said.

One of the boys told police that he wanted "respect" from his teachers, Kniskern said, adding that he is unsure of the real motive for the plan. They allegedly targeted two teachers in particular.

One item the boys allegedly talked about was what to do if no one brought sodas to school. Their fallback plan was to break into a soft drink machine in the school cafeteria.

Frances Ann Burns is an staff writer (