PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (PIX11) — Several dozen parents rallied across the street from City Hall in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Monday evening. To say there is turbulence and unrest in the community – stemming from the near-fatal stabbing of an 11-year-old boy – would be an understatement.
“Like everyone knows, he was attacked by a student in the school,” said Juan Jimenez, the father of the 11-year-old boy who was stabbed.
School officials confirmed that Juan Jimenez’s son was stabbed while walking home from Samuel E. Shull Middle School last Wednesday afternoon. After spending two days in a coma, the boy is now awake and recovering, his father said.
“The kid had a knife in school and he followed my son,” said Jimenez.
Parents of students blame Perth Amboy school officials for not clamping down on what they claimed is a pattern of bullying inside the school.
“There’s a lot of bullying and fights, and they think it’s OK to bully other people for the way they look, speak or just where they come from,” said seventh grader Yadieliz Vina.
Parents also said district officials are not taking steps to prevent students from bringing weapons inside the school buildings.
“We want tighter security … We’re in 2023. It’s not like when we used to go to school. This is our reality. I can see how people can feel some type of way about metal detectors. What I’m saying is, let me give you an extra layer of security,” said community activist A.D. Pauro.
Parents said it doesn’t matter if violence occurs off school property; they blame district officials for not addressing student conflicts inside the schools before they morph into full-blown fights out in the streets.
“All of the bullying that’s been going on, it’s not being addressed. Why aren’t parents being contacted immediately?” said Perth Amboy resident Raymarie Vasquez.
The Perth Amboy School District posted the following statement to its website late Monday evening:
“The answer is a continued strong partnership between the Perth Amboy Board of Education as to what can be done at school; the city of Perth Amboy as to what can be done within the community; and the parents as to what can be done at home.”