Student stabbed at C’dale school
A knife-wielding seventh-grader at Carbondale Middle School wounded an eighth-grade bystander Wednesday during an argument with another student.
The wound was not serious, but the boy with the knife was immediately arrested, sent to detention in Grand Junction, and will not be allowed to return to classes in the district, school officials said.
The stabbing prompted a call from middle school Principal Clifton Colia for the community to “learn and grow from this scary incident.” He said in a letter sent home to parents on Thursday that he hoped “some good will come from this bad situation.”
“This is a tough situation for everyone,” added Fred Wall, superintendent of the Roaring Fork School District. People in the valley, he said, should be asking themselves, “What can we do to know these kids better, to know the community better, to be more connected?”
Wall said the incident happened at the end of the school day Wednesday, after the bell had rung, but before students were sent home.
According to Colia’s letter, an argument erupted between a seventh-grader who recently arrived from Ecuador and an eighth-grader, and the two were trading insults. The new student reportedly pulled a knife from his backpack and threatened the other student with it.
When other students around the pair pulled back and tried to leave at the sight of the knife, the boy slashed the weapon at them. Colia said the knife blade hit a student’s backpack, went through it, and into the bystander’s back to a depth of about a half-inch.
“The injured student was checked out at the hospital,” Colia’s letter said. “No stitches or further treatment was required.”
The student who was stabbed was described as “physically fine” and was back in school Thursday. “It was a scary situation, and he was very brave through it,” Colia said.
“The situation was not just scary for the students involved, but for all members of our school community as well,” the principal said. “It made us all feel less safe and secure here at our school. This is very troubling because Carbondale Middle School has always been, and will continue to be, one of the safest places there is for our children.
“We should not let the violent behavior of that one student make us forget that we do have a great, safe school filled with hundreds of wonderful children, and a great staff who cares for them,” he said.
Colia asked parents to discuss with their children what they thought was needed to feel safe at school, what could be done to make the school as safe as possible, and about the consequences of actions and words.
“Our actions and words all have consequences which we must take responsibility for,” he said.
There will be a public meeting to discuss the incident and school safety in general at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22 in the middle school gym.
Wall said in a statement that as a result of this incident and a recent one involving a student possessing a BB gun in Basalt, “There will be a call to our entire community to unite together to determine an aggressive plan of action to respond to the issue of student-related violence issues in our communities and our schools.”
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