Pershing Middle School is not exactly in one of the Houston school district's most rugged areas -- it's near West U, for crying out loud. But Pershing was the location for a relatively rare middle-school stabbing between two students today.
Before school this morning, in the schoolyard, we had two students who got into a fight," HISD spokesman Norm Uhl tells Hair Balls. "One of them pulled out a small pocket-knife and slashed the other -- it wasn't so much a stabbing as it was a cutting. Didn't penetrate anything but skin."
The stabbed/slashed/cut student was taken to the hospital; the stabber/slasher/cutter was taken into custody by HISD police. An incident like this will typically result in aggravated assault charges, Uhl says.
The two kids had apparently been feuding for a couple of weeks.
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"It's a good opportunity to tell parents to talk to their kids and find out if they are having any disputes with other students and report it," he says. "So that we can deal with it and get it resolved peacefully. This was probably very avoidable."
Uhl says stabbings -- especially at the middle-school level -- are relatively rare in HISD, although he didn't have numbers handy.
HISD sent home a letter to Pershing parents (we'll post it when we get a copy) and also notified them by robo-call, Uhl said.
Update: And here's the letter.
April 14, 2010
Dear Pershing Parents,
Today about 30 minutes before school began, two students got into a fight in the courtyard. One student pulled a small pocketknife and cut the other student. Fortunately, the wound was superficial and the student is recovering. The other student was taken into custody.
As our partners in your child's education and safety I would ask you to take this opportunity to talk to your children about items that are inappropriate to bring to school. Pocket Knives are strictly forbidden.
Because of privacy laws, I am not at liberty to discuss the specifics of this morning's incident but I can tell you that it was the result of an ongoing dispute that was not reported to my staff or me. Please talk to your children about this issue.
Often students are hesitant to report ongoing disputes for fear of making the situation worse. Often the opposite is true.
If you know of any disputes between students please report it to us immediately so that we may deal with it and resolve it peacefully.
As always I appreciate your ongoing support of Pershing Middle School. If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 713-295-5240.