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Initial reports of school stabbing erroneous

Investigation determines it was an accident

POSTED March 12, 2014 7:38 p.m.

An investigation by the Turlock Police Department and the Turlock Unified School District into the injury of a 6-year-old boy with a pencil at Crowell School has been ruled an accident.

The police department said the incident was “clearly an accident and not a malicious act.” They also said the reports that the boy had been stabbed were erroneous.

On Feb. 27, two young boys were pretending to swordfight with their pencils in their classroom at the school. During the play, one child stumbled and his mechanical pencil “pinched in the skin of the (other) child’s neck,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Mike Trainor in a released statement.

“There was some indication the child may have actually poked himself in the scuffle,” Trainor said in the statement.

A licensed vocational nurse is assigned to the Crowell campus and she checked the boy out and found his vitals were normal, there was no bleeding, and the child did not appear to be in pain, according to the school district.

“The nurse and health technician followed standard first aid care and reporting procedures. They immediately called the child’s family while the assistant principal interviewed the students,” Trainor said.

The child’s father was contacted by the school and he was asked to come pick the child up. The father sent a grandfather who relayed the boy’s condition via cell phone and the family opted to take the child to an emergency room. The grandfather also used a piece of tape to adhere the pencil to the boy’s neck, TUSD reported.

The entire incident transpired over a 10 to 15 minute period, Trainor said.

The family called the Turlock Police Department several hours after the incident.

The family also contacted Turlock City News, which first reported that a student had been “stabbed” by another student. The story of the erroneous stabbing was also picked up by local television stations and the Modesto Bee.

“The child was not “stabbed” as has been mistakenly reported in the media, but was inadvertently and unintentionally poked,” Trainor said in the released statement.

The family has told media outlets they were considering filing a lawsuit over the incident and a special closed TUSD board meeting was held earlier this week to discuss the matter.

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