School Climate & Safety

Student Fatally Stabbed at School After Apparent Prom Date Rejection

By Evie Blad — April 25, 2014 1 min read
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A high school junior fatally stabbed a classmate in the hallway of a Connecticut high school today. Police are investigating whether the attacker acted after the victim rejected his invitation to attend prom, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Maren Sanchez, 16,died shortly after she was transported to a local hospitalfrom Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Conn. Her injuries were around her neck, police said. A school resource officer took the suspect, a 16-year-old boy, into custody. He is due to appear in court Monday, ABC reported.

The shocking incident follows a stabbing rampage at a Pennsylvania high school earlier this month that left 21 people injured. Alex Hribal, a 16-year-old student, has been charged as an adult in those attacks. Newly released court documentsshow he may have been planning the attack for days, as NBC News reported:

After the April 9 rampage that left 20 students and a security guard wounded, police armed with a warrant searched Hribal's locker at Franklin Regional Senior High School and found a sneering note dated April 6. 'I can't wait to see the priceless and helpless looks on the faces of the students of one of the 'best schools in Pennsylvania' realize their precious lives are going to be taken by the only one among them that isn't a plebian,' the note read, according to the police."

I wrote recently that knife attacks at schools are more common than many people realize, but they aren’t always as widely reported as shootings because there are typically fewer victims and fatalities are more rare. In the 2010-11 school year, U.S. public schools reported 5,000 cases of student possession of a firearm or explosive device, and 72,300 cases of possession of a knife or other sharp object, according to the most recent information available from the U.S. Department of Education.

School safety experts say security plans that are narrowly tailored to gun violence miss crucial opportunities to prevent and address other issues, including bullying, dating violence, and non-fatal attacks that often don’t involve weapons at all.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.