STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A teenage boy stabbed himself inside a classroom during first period at Bunnell High School Wednesday, students and parents say.
The incident took place around 8:45 a.m.
Parents say that around this time the school’s emergency alert system kicked into gear, sending out text messages, emails, and phone calls. Parents rushed down to pick up their children as some received texts from their child saying the school was in lockdown.
Due to an issue with WIFI, the school’s intercom was not working. Students say they heard teachers running up the halls telling them of the lockdown. Students sheltered in place before they were let out of lockdown a half-hour later.
“This was an isolated incident of self-harm,” said Stratford Police in a press conference with the superintendent of Stratford schools.
It is unknown whether the boy brought the knife to school, or if it was already at the school. The student was rushed to the hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
The student was later upgraded to stable condition Wednesday evening, Stratford police say. Due to the age of the student involved, no name will be released publicly.
No other students have been reported injured. Counselors are on hand Wednesday and for the rest of the week to speak with students impacted by the incident.
The town is also meeting with outside vendors to repair the WiFi and phones which were down during the emergency.
Ryan Romero, a junior, told News 8, “When you hear a teacher running down screaming ‘lockdown’ you don’t ever hear it that way.”
That’s why at first Ryan Romero wasn’t sure if this was just a drill. But it was real.
Stratford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson said, “That teacher was heroic and should feel good…He sought help, called 911”
Other students ran to get the school nurse. Dr. Robinson says the district is working to repair the phones and internet. The town emergency services and police have set up a temporary mobile WiFi hotspot.
“It really points out to us how we need backup systems on backup systems so we did learn from that and we already have a plan,” the superintendent said.
Students who know the teen tell us he was distraught over a breakup and that his ex-girlfriend may have been in the classroom at the time. Police are looking into that. They say he didn’t try to hurt anyone else.
Emery Janicki, a freshman, said, “I feel bad. I feel sad.”
Emery and her grandfather extra thankful to be together Wednesday after a scary morning.
“You always think the worst when you first get the call,” Emery’s grandfather said. “I gotta come to get her. Thank God it’s not except for that poor kid…hope he gets the help he needs.”
Counselors will be available all week. Officials say you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help. Parents or students. School will be in session Thursday.