Police: 13-year-old student stabbed inside Monhagen Middle School in Town of Wallkill
Administrators from the Enlarged City School District of Middletown held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening after an altercation broke out at one of their middle schools.
Middletown School District officials tried to assure concerned parents their children will be safe when they return to school Thursday following the assault that forced a lockdown - and later, the closure - of Monhagen Middle School on Wednesday.
In a note to parents Wednesday evening, Superintendent Amy Creeden said that on Thursday, Monhagen will open three hours later than usual, students will not be allowed to bring their backpacks and all students will pass through metal detectors.
Toward the beginning of the school day, multiple Monhagen students were involved in a fight.
School officials said late Wednesday that during the fight, a student stabbed another student with "what appears to be a knife," and that both the suspect and victim were injured.
Wallkill police said in a press release the 13-year-old victim was stabbed multiple times by another 13-year-old student.
School officials said in the note to parents that both the victim and suspect were hospitalized, but are expected to recover.
News 12 spoke with more than 10 parents who were anxiously awaiting updates in a long line of cars outside the school.
"I saw all the police cars going through, and I thought something happened," Ines Ramirez, a parent of a Monhegan student, said in tears, "and I thought something happened in the school."
Ramirez was among close to 100 parents outside the school calling their childrens' cellphones and calling the school's main office to try to check in on their children, but waited hours for an update.
Many parents turned to News 12 reports on scene for updates for information other than a broad statement the district issued earlier calling the incident a "situation.
"When asked if she had made contact with her child an hour after the original incident, Ramirez said, "No. I was in Newburgh, because I work over there, but I just came back."
School administrators dripped details about the incident throughout the day, confusing some parents and media.
"I will not be taking any questions," Superintendent Amy Creeden told the media before she read a statement on the school's front lawn.
Creeden said local police agencies and school administrators worked well together to contain the situation.
She offered a few sentiments before heading back inside as reporters shouted questions.
"What happened today is not OK," she said. "It is very upsetting. It's concerning. My heart hurts."
The school board's next regular meeting is Thursday, Dec. 14.
A handful of anxious parents told News 12 they were disappointed they were unable to speak with their children during the incident, and will bring up that issue at the school board meeting.
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