Parents Upset With District’s Handling Of Knife Incident

District: All Procedures Were Handled Appropriately

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Some parents at Stowe Elementary School in Duluth are upset with the way the School District handled a recent knife incident between one student and student crossing guards.

District officials say nobody was hurt and no students were attacked in any way.

But parents told FOX 21 the incident was serious and was brushed under the rug until their own kids spoke up.

“They said he put the knife up to all eight of the crossing guards, pulled it out and put the knife on his arm and went right up to them and said, you’re going to drink my blood, and do you want to drink my blood,” said Stacey Mortorelli Verhel, a parent of the 5th grader.

“The only people that were informed of this were the crossing guards’ parents and it was down played. And it was down played huge. Because it was something happened. Can’t tell you what it was. It’s taken care of. Case closed. That’s all what we were told,” said Kelly Hamilton, a parent of a 5th grader.

Assistant Superintendent Amy Starzecki told FOX 21’s Dan Hanger that students were never in harm’s way, Duluth police were contacted and the procedure of possible disciplinary action is always followed with incident involving weapons.

“If we felt students were at all in danger, we would notify families immediately and talk with families about the incident and make sure everybody felt safe coming back to school and that there’s a plan — a safety plan — if there was ever that concern,” Starzecki said.

Automated messages and letters about the Sept. 25 incident were sent out Monday to all parents of Stowe.

Starzecki said these types of incidents are tricky when it comes to releasing details because of data privacy laws.

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