CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Division of Police is investigating a stabbing Thursday morning at Holy Name Elementary School that left a 13-year-old girl injured.
Families were picking up their students following the incident at the K-8th grade school on Broadway Avenue Thursday.
“My grandson, he called me and said, ‘Grandma, someone just got stabbed.’ And I said, ‘TJ, are you sure?’” said Cheir Johnson, the grandmother of a 7th grade student.
Tyrone Blackshear, the father of a kindergartner and uncle of a 5th grade student, added, “I kind of freaked out. You don’t know if it’s your kid, if your kid was involved and stuff like that, and on top of that, how close your kid was. For your kid to even sit there and see that, that’s kind of a scary thing, as a parent, to go through.”
A letter sent home to families from the school, shared with News 5 by one parent, said it started with a fight between an 8th grade student and 5th grade student in the cafeteria Thursday morning. The 8th grader suffered stab wounds to the neck and chin. Cleveland EMS transported the girl to a nearby hospital with serious but non-fatal injuries.
Cleveland officers took the 5th grade student into custody and said a knife was found at the scene.
“It’s something you don’t even want to think about happening at an elementary school," said Blackshear. "Everything is kind of mind boggling right now."
Many parents said the age of the children involved was the most shocking part of the violence.
“I just hate that the kids are so young, so young,” Johnson said.
The school's letter to families explained administrators spoke to all students in the gym to restore calm, before temporarily sending them back to class and ultimately sending them home.
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland released the following statement regarding the incident:
"Altercations between students are not tolerated at Holy Name Elementary School. Holy Name administrators will cooperate with the Cleveland Police in investigating this matter and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken once the school has completed its investigation.
Holy Name Elementary School works hard to create a safe and healthy environment for its students. Our school community prays for the swift recovery of the student who was injured."
Furthermore, the diocese said there will be no class Friday. Classes will resume on Monday.
"We take the safety and wellness of our students very seriously, so this incident is very upsetting to us, as I am sure it is for you. Please know that we will be cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation of the matter and will be conducting our own investigation so that appropriate action can be taken in response to what happened and to ensure as best we can that our school is a safe environment for our students and staff," the diocese said.
Counseling will be available starting Monday when students return to school.
The matter remains under investigation.
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