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March 7, 2014

Police investigating report of student-on-student violence at Crowell Elementary School in Turlock

Turlock police are investigating an assault at a Turlock elementary school on a 6-year-old by his classmate.

Police are investigating an assault at a Turlock elementary school on a 6-year-old by his classmate.

The incident occurred Feb. 27 when one boy allegedly stabbed another boy in the neck with a pencil at Crowell Elementary School, said Turlock police Officer Mayra Lewis.

The victim was taken to Emanuel Medical Center after the stabbing occurred about 1:30 p.m., but police were not notified until the child’s parents called them about 5:30 p.m.

Asked why police were not notified, Crowell Principal Linda Alaniz said, “That I don’t know.”

No emergency medical crews were called to the school, according to representatives of the Turlock Fire Department and American Medical Response. Lewis said the boy’s parents reported that a relative had to pick him up from school and drive him to the hospital.

Lewis classified the boy’s injuries as not life-threatening, but said he was transferred to a children’s hospital out of the area for additional treatment.

Mike Trainor, assistant superintendent of business services for Turlock Unified School District, said in a statement to The Modesto Bee, “All policies and procedures were followed throughout the course of a very thorough investigation. Due to the confidentiality in dealing with minors, the Turlock Unified School District is required to refrain from discussing the details of this particular incident.”

Alaniz also would not comment on the incident, but said, “Any student concerns are brought to our attention and we handle them immediately. We have an awesome staff and a full-time nurse, which is unusual for most schools, so I think we do everything possible to ensure the students’ safety.”

Several parents, who felt student families should have been notified by the school, expressed concern about the incident this week.

“Concerned parents can come here; I am more than happy speak with them,” Alaniz said. “I can assure them that our students are very safe at Crowell. There are several staff members who have children here.”

She cannot disclose what, if any, disciplinary action was taken against the boy who allegedly stabbed the victim.

Lewis said Turlock’s school resources officer will work with administrators to determine an appropriate course of action for the boy.

California law dictates that children under the age of 14 cannot be charged with a crime without “clear proof that at the time of committing the act charged against them, they knew its wrongfulness.”

Under district policy and state law, a school may request assistance from law enforcement if a student is involved in a campus disturbance that has the potential to threaten the safety of students.

A number of “age appropriate” corrective actions can be taken, including conferences with the students involved and their parents and enrollment in an anger-management or restorative justice program. Suspension or expulsion may be imposed if a child commits an act defined in Education Code 48900, which includes causing physical injury to another person.

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