Boy faces multiple charges in school incident


Staff report


A 13-year-old boy who brought a window punch, rope and a bullet to Canfield Village Middle School is suspended from school, and charged in juvenile court.

The boy, of Canfield, was charged Monday with carrying concealed weapons, a misdemeanor, and possession of a deadly weapon on school property, a felony.

A second 13-year-old, also of Canfield, was charged Monday in juvenile court with disorderly conduct for bringing the window punch to school and giving it to the first boy. A window punch is a sharp metal tool used often by fire, police and emergency medical crews to break windows.

The incident occurred March 30 at the school during a seventh-grade gym class outdoors. A physical-education teacher told police that he observed the boy crossing the playground toward a group of three other male classmates. He said the boy was wearing a backpack, which seemed suspicious as he’d never seen the boy wearing a backpack prior to that day.

The teacher asked the boy to put the backpack inside the gym.

The teacher then asked nearby students what was happening, and they said the boy had something in his hand as he walked toward the group. The window punch was located near where the boy was confronted by the teacher.

School officials then searched the boy’s backpack and found a nylon cord and a .40-caliber bullet, according to a police report. No gun was found on the boy or hidden anywhere in the school.

The boy said he got the window punch from the male student charged with bringing it to school. He said he found it in the hallway about a month ago and asked his friend to hold onto it for him until that day, the report said.

The boy told police that he didn’t plan to stab any of the boys, but hit one of them with the blunt end of the window punch and then tie him up if he tried to fight back.

He said he was bullied by the group of males, and had several encounters with them in the week leading up to the incident.

The three males the boy was approaching on the playground told school officials that they also felt bullied by the boy, a police report says. The night before the incident, the boy sent a text message to one boy in the group saying he was going to kill the male he was most angry with. Another text said, “They ALL hate me.”

Canfield Superintendent Dante Zambrini declined to comment on the specifics of the case. He said the boy is suspended from school but wouldn’t specify for how long.

“The school policy is clear as to what the superintendent can do in this situation,” he said. “The board policy includes suspension, the potential for a hearing for expulsion or alternative placement.”

Zambrini said the need for the additional steps will be assessed as the student’s punishment progresses but reiterated that the district remains a safe place for Canfield children.

“Our school was and is safe,” he said. “We had an assembly with the students and answered the questions they might have had. We will deal with this in the appropriate manner.”

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