LINDENHURST, N.Y. (PIX11) – A sense of worry lingered Tuesday at the Lindenhurst Middle School, one day after a 12-year-old boy stabbed a 13-year-old boy in the hallway, according to police.
“It’s unsettling, very sad what these kids have to deal with. When I was a kid I didn’t have to deal with this,” said parent Lenore Christie.
Authorities described the victim’s condition as stable – a big change from the chaotic scene Monday afternoon when a staff member had to apply a tourniquet to help stop the heavy bleeding from his leg wound. The school was placed in an hours-long lockdown.
Parent Marie Pardue said her daughter knows the injured boy.
“She’s terrified. She didn’t want to come to school today,” Pardue said of her daughter.
She and other parents said fights and bullying are constant problems at the school.
“I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened before this. It’s been a problem at this school forever. My own child was bullied,” said parent Jackie Vando.
The young suspect was arraigned and charged for juvenile delinquency, according to police. Meanwhile, the Suffolk County Police Department increased patrols in the area, but parents said a big part of the problem is what happens off school grounds – on social media.
“The mentality of children has completely changed. My daughter was crying to get into the classroom after he was stabbed and other kids were pushing her out to go tape it. There’s video of this,” said Pardue.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds is the president and chief executive officer of the Family and Children’s Association (FCA), a youth violence prevention organization on Long Island. He said while fights and bullying at schools are not new, there is more of a willingness to resort to extreme violence and use weapons.
“You take the anxiety and stress associated with COVID, and adolescence in general, and you layer that on top of social media and news about school shootings. There’s an extremism out there. The biggest challenge is that we have kids in the classrooms trying to learn and at the same time they are worried about safety,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds said the stabbing incident or any other violence in schools provide an opportunity for parents to talk about bullying, fights, and gun violence with children in a very real way. He said those hard conversations need to happen on an ongoing basis and parents need to monitor what kids are consuming online as well.