GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A contracted Grand Rapids Public Schools cafeteria worker is out of a job after admitting she hired two fourth-graders to beat up a fellow student.
For everyone, it's one of those head-scratchers -- a just-when-you-think-you've-heard-it-all story.
"I didn't believe it. Who would believe something like that?" said the mother of the intended target, who 24 Hour News 8 is not identifying.
But when the principal of Campus Elementary School knocked on her door Monday night, he confirmed it.
The 9-year-old intended victim, also a fourth-grader, said something he shouldn't have to the woman. The school's investigation revealed the worker gave two other fourth-graders a total of $1 and told them to beat him up.
"To think that there's an adult that can be so like twisted to sit there and watch a little boy -- a little 9-year-old boy -- get beat up, and get enjoyment out of it," said the victim's mother.
Word got back to school administrators and the cafeteria worker got sent to the principal's office.
She admitted to everything and was fired.
And the mom says her son did get roughed up.
"We're still investigating that. That's not something I've received a report on. That doesn't mean it did or didn't happen," GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt said.
He was as surprised as anyone about the incident.
"You hear something like this and it certainly makes you shake your head," he said.
It also makes you wonder how someone who would make that kind of threat got a job at a school in the first place.
The woman worked for West Michigan Janitorial Service, a company that has provided contract workers to GRPS for over six years.
"All GRPS employees and individuals who are working with children have to go through the district's background check," Helmholdt told 24 Hour News 8. "But in this case, because it's an external vendor, it's actually a double-check."
That's because the janitorial service is also required to background check employees it places in area schools.
The fired employee had a clean criminal record.
The mom of the victim wonders if there's a way to check the maturity level of employees.
"Not only is other kids picking on him, but the worse thing I'm telling is that could happen to him is being done by an adult," she said.
The mom of 9-year-old is also concerned about retaliation by the fired worker. If she targeted her son, she said, what's to keep her form going after the rest of the family?
"I don't know what kind of woman I'm dealing with. It's a little sick and twisted to me, to get enjoyment out of making a group of kids beat up a little kid you don't like," she said.
Grand Rapids police are also looking at the case. And the victim's mom says she's looking for a lawyer and may sue.