An elementary-school student accused of bringing a knife to class did it to protect himself from bullies who made fun of him for appearing gay, his family says.
On Monday, the unnamed 11-year-old was taken from Inwood Elementary in Winter Haven, Florida, to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center after an eight-inch butcher knife (right) was seen poking out of his loose-leaf binder.
ABC Action News editor Micah Grimes, who covered the story, later tweeted“MORE: Family claims student that brought butcher knife to school was bullied; great-grandmother says possibly for ‘gay tendencies.’”
The parents of the boy, a fifth-grader, claim they brought up the bullying to administrators, who failed to take action. But the district says there’s no record of any concerns being raised: “Right now there is nothing on file with the school that she has been told of of any bullying. But there will be more interviews done to find out,” said Capt. David Brannan with Winter Haven Police.
The student is charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds, a third-degree felony. It’s unclear how his age—and the possible motive—will affect any punishment the boy receives.