UTICA, OHIO: Two central Ohio sixth-graders face juvenile charges of aggravated menacing after students overheard them talking about taking children and teachers hostage and cutting the throats of faculty members, such as the principal, police said.

The 12-year-old boys were detained and confessed after an alarmed student told the principal what they allegedly discussed Friday at Utica Elementary, Utica Police Chief Cliff Bigler said.

Bigler told the Columbus Dispatch that one of the boys had mapped out a plan to take over the office and retreat to the cafeteria at the school, about 35 miles northeast of Columbus.

North Fork schools Superintendent Scott Hartley told the newspaper an expulsion hearing for the boys is scheduled Thursday.

“Sometimes you take threats with a grain of salt,” Hartley said. “But with this, it was so methodical, with a plan drawn up, we had to respond quickly.”

A letter was sent Monday to the parents of the roughly 500 students at the school.

Dottie Smith, whose granddaughter attends the school, tells WBNS-TV that students shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school.

“You hear about it in the high schools and college, but when it comes down to 12- and 13-year-old kids, it’s getting a little out of hand,” she said.

Police searched the school and the boys’ homes and believe they were acting alone. Both students are being held at a juvenile detention center in Lancaster.