INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The superintendent of Washington Township Schools says one student is in police custody and another in a hospital after a knife fight led to the high school’s shutdown Wednesday morning.
Superintendent Nikki Woodson also issued a warning about “an increase in physical aggression by our students” since the start of school July 30.
She said Wednesday afternoon in a YouTube video that two seniors got into a verbal fight outside North Central High School, 1901 E. 86th St. The fight continued inside the school and “one student began to stab the other student with a knife.”
Woodson said the student with the knife was quickly taken down by staff, and is detained, although she said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department would have to provide public information about the student’s detention.
The school nurse treated the injured student, who was later taken to a hospital, the superintendent said. IMPD said the senior stabbed was a 17-year-old boy. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The student who was detained was an 18-year-old man, IMPD said. No criminal charges were filed by late Wednesday afternoon.
IMPD asked anyone with information about the fight to contact Michael Phillips, a detective with the aggravated assault office, at 317-327-3475 (voice only, no texts) or Michael.Phillips@indy.gov.
The high school dismissed students at 10 a.m. and canceled all of the day’s extracurricular activities, Woodson said. School will resume Thursday with additional security as well as a support plan for students and staff, she added.
Police did not release either the names of the students in the fight.
Anyone can report threats to Washington Township schools at 317-672-0613 (voice and texts) or email@example.com, she said.
“Many of the incidents being addressed in our schools are from situations that originate on social media. In recent weeks, city leaders have stood in front of media pleading with our community to stop the violence we are experiencing in Marion County. I am sharing this message with the same level of urgency for our schools. The fact is since we started school, we have seen an increase in physical aggression by our students. The violence must stop so that our schools can remain safe places to learn.”
She added that the district will not tolerate violence and will review its safety protocols.
Reaction from parents, student
Ten minutes into her first-period art class Wednesday morning, Sydney Powell saw and heard something inside North Central High School.
Powell said, “Then, I just saw a lot of kids running from the scene. I thought it was just like a fight, or it was just like a verbal altercation. Then, next thing you know, they’re telling me I need to go in my art room, and I’m really panicking because it never happened like that before. I was in my art room. All I could just think of was ‘I just need to get home.'”
Sydney texted her mother.
Nina Powell, Sydney’s mother, said that she got the text “saying that there had been a stabbing at the school. Then my oldest daughter, Taylor, texted me and were like they’re ready to come home.”
“This is a safe space.” Nina Powell said. “I have three kids in Washington Township. I’m confident in the administrators and how they handled the situation. But, it is very saddening. Both those children have parents. My heart goes out to them on both ends.”
Another North Central High School parent, Latrice Owens, came to pick up her daughter and niece, who are both students at the school. “I’m a little shook up about it because I feel it shouldn’t have happened. That’s one thing that shouldn’t have happened. The child that got stabbed, I’m praying for his family, and the other child as well, because it’s a tough situation for both parents.”
Owens said she has concerns. “I send her to school from 7:35 (a.m.) to 2:35 (p.m.), and I’m constantly texting her to check on her to make sure she is OK because of all the fights that get put on social media.”