Police have detained a 12-year-old schoolgirl from a family of Mongolian refugees living in France after she took a knife to school and threatened to kill her teacher.
The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday during an English lesson at the Hautes-Ourmes College in Rennes.
The fifth-grade student shocked her classmates when she pulled a knife and lunged at her teacher who ran from the room. The girl was restrained by school staff and handed over to the police.
French broadcaster CNews said a motive for the attempted attack was not yet known, however, several testimonies from co-eds suggest the girl had boasted about wanting to emulate the Islamist terror attack in Arras during which 57-year-old Dominique Bernard was stabbed to death by a Chechen-born terrorist in October.
“She showed the knife. She said ‘I’m going to kill you, ma’am.’ We shouted. She said she wanted to be like Arras, but I didn’t understand,” one student who witnessed the incident told French commercial radio RTL.
“The teacher opened the door, she told us to get out and we were all evacuated into a room.
“She sent me a little note this morning telling me she was going to kill the teacher, I could tell she wasn’t laughing so I asked her ‘What do you mean you’re going to kill the teacher?’ But I didn’t know that she had a real knife,” she added.
The school explained that the girl was “controlled in one of the corridors by adults at the school and arrested by the Rennes police.”
Renne public prosecutor Philippe Astruc revealed the girl was born in 2011 in Marseille and “came to class armed with a large knife with the apparent intention of killing her English teacher”.
“During the lesson, in class, she brandished a knife towards the victim who fled running. She allegedly followed her before being disarmed by the staff of the establishment. There are no injuries,” he confirmed.