Father says elementary school classmate attacked son with knife

Concerned father says student who threatened son suspended, not expelled

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - An elementary school student in Middleburg was attacked with a knife last week after he refused to allow another student to cheat off him, the boy's father told News4Jax.

Cory Flowers said his son is in fourth grade at Wilkinson Elementary School and he's concerned because the student who he said tried to stab his son is still attending the same school. The student has not been charged with a crime and his name was blacked out in the police report.

Flowers said the incident happened Feb. 5 after his son finished a test.

“The kid sitting next to him wanted to copy his answers, and then he told him no -- so then the kid reached into his backpack, pulled out his pocketknife and goes to stick my son in the side,” Flowers said.

He said the knife hit his son's belt and did not injure him, but he filed a report with the Clay County Sheriff's Office. That report indicated the boy's belt appeared to have been cut with a blade.

Flowers said he thought the student would be expelled, but instead, he received a three-day suspension and was moved into another class. 

“He actually returned to school this past Monday, and he walked up to my son and basically, my son tells him, 'You’re not supposed to be anywhere near me,'” Flowers said. “(The other student) said, 'I won’t mess with you in the classroom, but if we go out to recess, then you won’t come back.'”

Parents of other Wilkinson Elementary students said they received a note that there was an incident at the school involving police, but they said that in general, it's a good school.

Flowers said he’s heard the child who threatened his son is now getting counseling, but he wants to make sure the measures the school district is taking are enough to protect his son.

“This isn’t a simple bullying situation,” Flowers said. “When you pull out a weapon with the intent to actually do somebody else harm, then you threaten their life, that’s serious.”

A spokesperson for the school district said there is no ongoing threat to any student. They said it was an isolated incident between two students that has been dealt with from a discipline standpoint.

The following message was sent to parents at the school:

Good afternoon Parents and Guardians,

This is Principal Heather Teto of Wilkinson Elementary. I am calling to notify you that it has come to the administration's attention that there is misinformation going around regarding weapons and threats on campus. I can assure you that neither is the case. Last week, administration was notified of an isolated situation involving two students and it was handled according to our Code of Student Conduct. 

As a community and a school, we will work together to ensure a safe environment for all. We appreciate your support as safety is our top priority. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact me.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.