Middletown Board of Education holds 1st public meeting after student-involved stabbing
The Enlarged City School District of Middletown Board of Education held its first public meeting on Thursday night just one day after a student stabbed another student during the early part of the school day.
"We're your neighbors and we are trying to find a way to navigate this together," said Middletown Board of Education Chair John Williams.
The Town of Wallkill Police Department responded to Monhagen Middle School around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for a report of an altercation. Officials said one student stabbed another multiple times in the hallway.
The victim, only identified as a 13-year-old student, was taken to a hospital in stable condition. Town of Wallkill police said the assailant was 13 years old and charged as a juvenile. The case will be handled by the Orange County Attorney's Office.
School officials said the incident began as a fight between two students before escalating once two more students got involved.
Footage of the incident exclusively obtained by News 12 showed multiple students cornering one student against the lockers and punching the victim multiple times before the stabbing.
The incident prompted a multi-hour lockdown at the school on Wednesday morning. Thursday's school day started on a three-hour delay. Students had to walk through metal detectors, and all backpacks, large bags and district-provided devices were not allowed inside the building.
At least one parent told News 12 that his son reported concerns to school officials about the possibility of a stabbing the day before it happened, but his son's warning was dismissed. Middletown Superintendent of Schools Amy Creeden denied those allegations at Thursday night's meeting and said the situation was being handled by law enforcement.
Parents raised security concerns Thursday night and demanded answers from district officials on how to keep their children safe.
"We must find a resolution to better our security staff," said one parent.
"What we don't see here is any action from any of you and I honestly feel like you are the problem," added another parent.
District officials said Thursday's return to school went off "without any issues," according to a post on social media this afternoon.
There are about 800 students between the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at Monhagen Middle School. It's unclear what percentage of parents opted to keep their kids home for the day despite requests to the district for that information.
Monhagen Middle School will once again start on a three-hour delay on Friday morning. Students will have to go through metal detectors, and large bags, backpacks and district-issued devices will not be allowed in the building.