An 8-year-old boy walked into his elementary school on Monday morning, police say, and pulled a kitchen knife out of his backpack.
He started to “randomly” attack students in the hallway of Pleasantview Elementary School in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, as they arrived for another school day, police say. Three students — an 8-year-old, a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old who was waiting to be transferred to a nearby middle school — were hurt in the attack, which lasted a few minutes, according to Fox9.
Police allege the boy stabbed the children in the back of their heads and that two of the injured kids received stitches at St. Cloud Hospital.
The boy dropped his knife after he walked into the school office, according to WBTV. Officers arrived to the school after receiving a call at 7:15 a.m and took the boy to a police station. The school day then went on as normal.
But don’t expect the second-grade suspect to receive any criminal charges, police say. That’s because under Minnesota law, those under the age of 10 can’t face criminal charges, as noted by WBTV. The boy is now back in the custody of his parents — and will have to work with social services. Police added that the boy’s parents are not likely to face any criminal proceedings, either.
Sauk Rapids Police Chief Perry Beise told KSTP that “we hope (the boy) can get the kind of help he needs.”
“He is cooperating, he is visiting with investigators,” he said. “His parents are cooperating.”
The Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools released a statement that told parents of “an unfortunate incident that happened before school started.”
“Currently, we are working with school support staff to identify and provide support to staff and students that may have been impacted by this incident,” it read, according to Fox9. “Mental health professionals are available on site at Pleasantview Elementary.
“Please know in situations like this the District’s discipline policy is applied and aggressive students are not allowed in the building(s).”
But many parents told the St. Cloud Times that they aren’t happy with the school’s response to the knife attack.
Chandler Murphy, whose son is a kindergartner at the elementary school, said that “they took no effort to inform me or my wife.”
He argues that he never received a message about the attack from the school.
“I checked my email, texts, phone calls — my wife did the same,” Murphy said in an interview with the newspaper. “I know for a fact that they have my contact information because they called me the other day about my son having a cold.
“I’m infuriated,” he added, “that they would take it upon themselves (to decide) that this isn’t a big enough thing to send kids home.”
Another parent, Jessica Bryant, said that the email didn’t come until 11:15 a.m. — four hours after it happened.
“I am very upset I received a vague email four hours after the fact,” she told the St. Cloud Times. “I understand waiting until everything is secure, but in instances as this, parents should be notified sooner.”
According to KTSB, parents waited outside of school to hug their children at the end of the hectic day. Nadine Feia, mother of a first-grader, was among them.
Monday proved to be a wake-up call, she said.
“I was pretty shaken up,” Feia told the TV station. “I got the email and started crying. It doesn’t really hit home until it happens where your kids go.”