KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools explained some of the decisions made after a student was stabbed inside Northeast Middle School Tuesday and later died of his injuries.
The student who died was identified as 14-year-old Manuel J. Guzman.
The 8th grade suspect who was taken into custody following the stabbing has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon through the Jackson County Juvenile Court.
“We’re always concerned that this happened,” KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell said. “No superintendent wants to have a kid hurt. Nonetheless a kid lose his life on a campus. We’re devastated by this.”
While the district continues to investigate how the knife got past security measures at the school, it is also facing other questions.
Some parents have said they didn’t think school should have been in session the day after a homicide on campus.
Bedell explained that decision Thursday afternoon.
“We were very intentional in reopening school the day after because we did not want our students at home, alone, trying to process something as devastating as this on their own,” Bedell said. “We felt that there are a lot of loving adults there at that school that these kids have built relationships with and all of those people cane to work the following day to be there for students.”
He said the district is also working to help students and their families in other ways following Tuesday’s tragedy.
“First and foremost we have made all of our resources available, family therapists, trauma-informed clinicians, counselors, everyone’s available not only for the families impacted, but also for the students at that school, and any other families that may have been impacted by this situation,” Bedell said.
There are security officers at Northeast Middle School who scan students with metal detectors and students are required to carry clear backpacks.
Bedell said the district is working with the Kansas City Police Department to identify weak points in the security plan as well as other issues.
“Once we get that information, we’ve made it very clear to everybody that we will operate with a high degree of transparency as we always have, and let our community know what happened,” Bedell said.
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