St. Paul's Ramsey Junior High characterizes student-on-student stabbing as "horseplay"

ramsey junior high knife.jpeg
Image by Tatiana Craine
Police call it an assault. Ramsey officials call it "horseplay."
After school last Thursday in St. Paul, a 13-year-old student cut a 14-year-old colleague on the forearm with an X-Acto knife. The incident reportedly occurred just off school grounds at Ramsey Junior High School, where both teens are students.

SEE ALSO: Semen-filled cupcake scandal rocks St. Paul's Como Park High School

School officials didn't contact police about the incident, but the victim's mother, Susan Stewart, later did. Stewart's son needed stitches, and the 13-year-old was eventually charged with second-degree assault.

But in a letter sent home with students Friday and signed by Principal Nancy Flynn, school officials characterized the incident as "horseplay that resulted in an injury." And, as the Pioneer Press reports, Stewart is none too happy about it.

From the PiPress:
"I understand they are trying to downplay this, but the extent to which they did that is ridiculous," [Stewart] said. "They didn't convey what happened, and they made my son out to be part of the problem."

Stewart, who called 911 the afternoon of the incident, also questioned the district's decision not to contact police.

District spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said the letter did not go into more detail in an effort to protect the students' privacy. Because this was an isolated incident, she said, the district also wanted to avoid alarming other parents unnecessarily.
In a quote echoing the sorts of things Maple Grove officials were saying in the midst of that school's recent hockey sex tape scandal, Downey, regarding the "horseplay" letter, told the PiPress: "We said what we knew at the time and what we could say based on student privacy laws."

The details of the confrontation that led to last Thursday's stabbing aren't clear, but the fact charges have been pressed against the 13-year-old suggests the incident involved much more than mere "horseplay." And furthermore, how would calling an assault an assault in any way violate anyone's privacy?

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As the mom of the victim I can tell you what led up to this, on the day prior to my son being ambushed my son sent a text to a girl, with whom he was just friends, warning her this boy who later attacked my son was only dating the girl to get her to give him her xtra iPod. The day my son was ambushed the boys had no words exchanged prior to the attack.  What the school saw on the surveillance video was 1) my son running from the kid with the blade, this the school called "playing on school grounds" & 2) my son executing a self-defensive martial arts move on the kid with the knife, this the school called "horseplay." The St. Paul Police arrested my son's assailant on "aggravated assault" & he was charged in juvie court with "2nd degree assault with a deadly weapon" - which is a felony. The school's Assistant Principal characterized this to me as "premeditated" from the JUMP. School District officials downplayed it, further victimizing the victim.

swmnguy topcommenter

Having been a 13 year-old boy, and having been (very recently) the father of one, I can see how this could have been accurately described as "horseplay."  I can also see why the mother of the kid who got hurt would not see it that way.  As for the fact that charges were filed, kids are idiots. I should know; I've got two of them.  An awful lot of the things they do without recognizing the potential consequences, could be charged, and sometimes are if more sensible adults do not prevail.  Some of the things they do need to be charged, no doubt.  But when I think of the random destructiveness and violence that I grew up with in the 1970s, I think most of it should be handled between parents and other involved adults, and leaving the criminal system out of it.

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

"hey, we was just kiddin when we stabbed u!"

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