MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Police Department and the city school administration are investigating reports of middle school students being threatened by another middle school student in possession of a knife.
The alleged incident took place Tuesday afternoon at Dan Emmett Elementary School after the shuttle bus from the middle school dropped off its riders. It was reported to the News that one child made a “mean face” at another, who then pulled a knife. The first child then ran away screaming, according to a witness.
An older student asked what was going on and was also threatened with the knife. Her brother then intervened by yelling, “Get away from my sister.”
“It could have been way worse than it was,” said the siblings’ mother. “My children were deeply, deeply scared.”
She told the News she is frustrated with the way the school district is handling the situation. She said her children were not questioned about the incident or given a chance to tell the middle school principal Gary Hankins their side of the story.
“We just want some reassurance that our children are safe,” continued the mother. “They [administration] are acting like we’re the bad guys. They are being rude to us and giving us conflicting stories. Our questions aren’t being answered.”
While unable by law to discuss an ongoing investigation, Superintendent Steve Short did say the district is taking the reports seriously and has changed its after school procedure with regard to middle school students who ride the shuttle bus to Dan Emmett.
“We are expecting all students as they get off the bus to leave the property unless they are there to pick up a sibling,” Short said. “Those who are waiting for younger siblings to be dismissed must wait inside the school in the lobby. This means the students will be in a place where they can be more closely supervised and those who should go home do go home.”
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