Mom Wants Answers Following School Incident Allegedly Involving a Weapon

A student allegedly brought a weapon to Richfield S.T.E.M. School and made disturbing comments, according to a parent.

Richfield Public Schools
Richfield Public Schools
Email chains and social media have been buzzing with talk of an incident that took place at Richfield S.T.E.M. School Jan. 10.

Richfield Patch has looked into the issue and found out the following:

The incident

Renee Raygor, the mother of two fourth-grade S.T.E.M. students, said one of her daughters was involved in the incident. According to Raygor, a female student made comments about a knife to her daughter Thursday, Jan. 9. The following morning, during school breakfast, the student allegedly showed Raygor's daughter a knife under the table and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

Raygor said her daughter, who is autistic, is terrified of knives and told another student what happened, and that student reported it to a teacher.

Principal Joey Page acknowledged there was incident involving a student on Friday, Jan. 10. School officials were made aware of the issue at the end of school that day and were able to connect with the student's parents Monday, Jan. 13. As far as what the incident was, who it involved and any disciplinary action that followed, Page was unable to disclose that information due to data privacy concerns. 

Page did say that police contact was made, however, the school and district officials decided it was most appropriate to handle the situation internally. According to Richfield Public Safety Lt. Mike Flaherty, no police report was filed. No details of the incident were given to Patch by police.

Why weren't parents notified of the incident?

School officials did not notify parents of the incident. While Page could not confirm if a weapon was involved, he said school officials engaged with the superintendent, other district administrators and the family of the student to determine what the best course of action was. 

Raygor said she wants more answers from the school.

"I talked to the principal and I thought I would get more answers from him, but he didn't give me anything," Raygor said. "I know part of it is privacy [rules], but I just don't feel they're doing anything about it. ... My other daughter tried to talk to [school] social workers about it, and they keep telling her to leave it alone."

"I don't want my daughter in fear at school," she added. "Everybody needs to respond to this and act like they care."

Page said he was confident that there was no safety risk.

"I really want to stress that we have a safe school," he said. "Our school was safe last Friday, our school was safe during Friday, and our school was safe after Friday."

The district's policy on weapons

The district's policy regarding weapons on school premises is outlined in Section 100, Policy 111 of the school board's policy manual, and is summarized as follows:

No student or non-student, including adults and visitors, shall possess, use or distribute a weapon when in a school location except as provided in this policy.  The school district will act to enforce this policy and to discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, school employee, volunteer, or member of the public who violates this policy.

The decision for the school to handle the incident internally falls under the Administrative Discretion article of the policy:

While the school district and the school takes a “Zero Tolerance” position on the possession, use or distribution of weapons by students, the superintendent, may use discretion in determining whether, under the circumstances, a course of action other than the minimum consequences specified above is warranted.  If so, other appropriate action may be taken, including consideration of a recommendation for lesser discipline.

To see the entire policy, go to the school district's website, click on "General Information" and then on "Board Policies."

Patch will update readers if more information becomes available.

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Barry L. January 22, 2014 at 09:42 AM
I am so glad that the Slotterback is leaving...my be we can get some one to enforce a safe school...ZERO tolerance for threaten others...
Tom January 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM
I spoke with Robert Slotterback last Thursday. He said the knife was confiscated which tells you obviously there was a knife for sure. And that nothing further would be done by the school. what I don't understand is how the child was not in school on Monday and right back to school Tuesday. Typically I would think there would be a little bit more punishment then that. At least a more lengthy suspension.
Barry L. January 22, 2014 at 01:18 PM
exactly what I am talking about...I had a conversation with Slotterback about gangs in RHS.last year....he said what gangs? comom get a grip of what is going on...The best thing that has happen is that the Minneapolis busing program ended...we have enough damage already with 28% of free and reduced lunches...I supported the levee..I don't have kids in Richfield school system... I hope they can can pull it together..I hear Principal Joey is a great guy, IDK what his opinion was...but I would hope he doesn't give a another chance to this kid for threatening a special needs child...


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