SCHOOL SLASH­ING STUNS WOBURN

Sixth-grader ac­cused of knife at­tack on class­mate, 12

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By JOR­DAN GRA­HAM, KATH­LEEN MCKIER­NAN, ALEXI CO­HAN and MARY MARKOS — jor­dan.gra­[email protected]­her­ald.com

Par­ents and stu­dents at a Woburn mid­dle school were stunned by an out­burst of pre­teen vi­o­lence after a sixth-grader was ac­cused of slash­ing a class­mate with a steak knife in the school au­di­to­rium early yes­ter­day.

“I’m re­ally scared,” said Lu­cas Almeida, a sixth-grader at the John F. Kennedy Mid­dle School in Woburn, one of sev­eral stu­dents who spoke out­side the school with their par­ents present.

“It was re­ally crazy, I was never ex­pect­ing this to hap­pen to this school,” Almeida said.

Just be­fore 8 a.m. yes­ter­day, an 11-year-old six­th­grade boy at­tacked a 12year-old class­mate in the school au­di­to­rium with a steak knife as a fight es­ca­lated, ac­cord­ing to city of­fi­cials and stu­dents.

“I had just got­ten in the school and I saw two boys fight­ing on the side,” said eighth-grader Ju­lia Baker. “I got re­ally ner­vous, I didn’t know what hap­pened, stuff like this usu­ally doesn’t hap­pen. I was re­ally scared.”

The 12-year-old was trans­ported to a lo­cal hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties, with “su­per­fi­cial in­juries that are not con­sid­ered lifethreat­en­ing,” au­thor­i­ties said. The school was placed in a brief lock­down as staff and school po­lice re­sponded.

“The al­leged as­sailant, an 11-year-old male stu­dent, was quickly iden­ti­fied and placed in cus­tody and a small knife was seized,” Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin, po­lice Chief Robert Rufo and Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools Matthew Crow­ley said in a joint state­ment. “The safety, se­cu­rity and well-be­ing of the stu­dents and all mem­bers of the school com­mu­nity is our first pri­or­ity. We have de­ter­mined that there is no fur­ther dan­ger to the school.”

Ac­cord­ing to Rufo, there was a his­tory be­tween the al­leged as­sailant and the vic­tim, and said po­lice are not in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent as an act of bul­ly­ing. Rufo was un­aware of any is­sues with bul­ly­ing at the school.

“This was just an iso­lated in­ci­dent that turned into a vi­o­lent as­sault,” Rufo said. “We know there is a his­tory be­tween the as­sailant and the vic­tim.”

Au­thor­i­ties did not say what led to the stab­bing, but sev­eral stu­dents said it may have been re­lated to a dis­pute in­volv­ing a girl.

Through­out the morn­ing, par­ents ar­rived at the school to bring their chil­dren home. Par­ents said the school does not have prob­lems with vi­o­lence or bul­ly­ing.

“You never think it’s go­ing to hap­pen in your town, but thank God every­one’s safe,” said Kelly Doughty. “It’s pretty scary, it’s scary.”

Michelle Keith said she was on her way to work when she started get­ting calls from rel­a­tives who had seen the news. She turned around to go pick up her son.

“I was in shock,” Keith said. “You al­ways see it on the news, it’s al­ways other places, it’s never your city or your school.”

Stu­dents said the in­ci­dent hap­pened in the au­di­to­rium, where sixth-graders wait for classes to be­gin.

Dean Baker picked his daugh­ter up from school to make sure she was okay.

“You don’t ex­pect some­thing like this to hap­pen,” Dean Baker said.

State law does not al­low mi­nors un­der 12 to be crim­i­nally charged, but the youth is ex­pected to face dis­ci­pline.

AN­GELA ROWLINGS PHO­TOS / HER­ALD STAFF

MID­DLE SCHOOL STAB­BING: A Woburn cop is seen yes­ter­day out­side John F. Kennedy Mid­dle School after an 11-year-old with a knife al­legedly stabbed a class­mate. At top, a bus pulls out from the school after early dis­missal.

‘SCARY’: Kelly Doughty, who picked her chil­dren up from school early yes­ter­day, said, ‘You never think it’s go­ing to hap­pen in your town, but thank God every­one’s safe.’

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