Police in Bucks County are investigating an alleged plot to sicken children on a school trip to historic Philadelphia and then sue for damages.
A boat charter company received a hand-written note last month about the Council Rock School District trip, Newtown Township Police Chief Rick Pasqualini said.
The note warns that two sixth-grade parents were planning to sicken their children from Goodnoe Elementary and others during the lunch cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia.
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The chief says the note could be a hoax. But officials are taking precautions anyway.
A letter was sent home to parents to let them know of the threat.
"She came home with this note on Friday," said school parent Susan DiJulia.
The school district confirmed that students from Goodnoe will still explore Philadelphia's Old City, but won't do a lunch cruise:
Council Rock and The Spirit of Philadelphia were both very disturbed and concerned about this letter. Not willing to take any chances, the school district and the cruise ship mutually agreed to cancel the lunch cruise. Eight of the district’s 10 schools were scheduled for lunch cruses as part of their field trips in late May and early June. The rest of their field trips, which include touring Philadelphia's historic sites, will continue.
... At all times, Council Rock and the ship's first concern was the welfare of our students and chaperones.
The Spirit of Philly also responded to the threat:
We received an anonymous letter professing of an alleged insurance scam by two Goodnoe Elementary School parents. It was isolated to one field trip for one school, Goodnoe Elementary School. As soon as we received the letter we contacted the Superintendent who notified the appropriate authorities. This was obviously disturbing for all of us. We have a long-standing relationship with Council Rock schools. The kids, the parent chaperones and the teachers love coming on board every spring. Safety is our No. 1 priority, and we will continue to cooperate with authorities and provide any support to help resolve the matter.
Police hope to track down the sender. But the postmark is unclear, complicating the effort.
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