Elementary School Student Who Stabbed Another for Bullying Acted in Self-Defense, Will Not Face Criminal Charges
A Horrell Hill Elementary student is facing a criminal investigation after the student stabbed another student at the school. The Richland County Sheriff’s investigators say that the child acted in self-defense after being bullied by the stabbing victim.
When the two 5th grade children were dismissed from school at 2:30, the stabbing victim reportedly went up to the first child to kick him. The first student, who was kicked and bullied in other ways, reportedly stabbed the bully in the foot with a metal hair pick.
The student was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but the injuries were not life-threatening.
“While there is no specific language regarding ‘metal hair picks,’ in the ‘Board Policy JICI – Weapons in Schools’ and our Student Discipline Code of Conduct both address weapons,” said Richland One Communications Director Karen York. However, the student who stabbed his bully will not face criminal charges because he acted in self-defense, according to police.
After the incident, the South Carolina Department of Education released a statement saying they want students to speak up when bullying happens, to prevent further incidents.
Studies have shown that students who face bullying are more likely to suffer mental health issues later in life, including depression, suicidal thoughts, body image issues, and issues with anger management. Bullying is not a benign “kids will be kids” issue anymore – it is a serious problem with long-lasting consequences. More parents and educators want students to speak up about problems they face if they are bullied at school or day care.
Dino Teppara, spokesman for the Dept. of Education, says that stabbing incident could have been prevented with better bullying awareness.
“In circumstances like that, we want to see that students speak up, go to their teacher, go to a parent or someone they can trust and say what’s happening,” says Teppara. “If that student felt like he couldn’t speak to someone else, his classmate could have done it … We don’t want to see it escalate to the point where someone wants to take the matter into their own hands.”
Teppara did say that, thanks to awareness programs and the support of educators and parents, bullying incidents have gone down in South Carolina in the last few years. In 2008, 25% of students reported being bullied, but that number has gone down to 22%.
“Studies have shown that if a school has a bullying prevention program in place almost always we see bullying incidences go down,” says Teppara. “We’ve seen in the last ten years that the number of students reporting as being bullied, whether they’re White, Black, Hispanic, male or female, these statistics show bullying has gone down.”