KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Less than 30-minutes before starting school at F.L. Schlagle Tuesday morning, students watched three of their peers involved in a fight that ended with one of them being stabbed, and two more taken into custody.
"They were waiting to enter the building and then at some point something must've sparked anger and that's when everything took place from there," Sharita Hutton, Director of Communications for Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools said.
Police dispatchers told KSHB 41 that officers were called to the school, located near North 59th Street and Parallel Parkway, around 6:52 a.m.
Classes at the school begin around 7:35 a.m.
Officials said there were many students present to witness the stabbing.
Classes will resume for the day, but parents are able to pick up their students if desired and counselors are available to talk.
KSHB 41 News has obtained video depicting Tuesday morning’s incident. Police have confirmed the authenticity of the video and are using it as part of their investigation.
In the video, which is graphic at times, two students are shown fighting in a covered patio area outside the school. While those two students are fighting, a third student is seen making a stabbing motion on one of the fighting students. During the course of the incident, the student making the stabbing motion drops what appears to be a scissors.
The student picked up the scissors and left the field of view of the camera before the recording ends. A second video shows the student allegedly stabbed with apparent blood on his hands.
A district spokesperson told KSHB 41 News one student sustained non-life-threatening injuries from being stabbed.
Police will rely on video and witnesses to investigate the incident.
Joseph Straws, a parent who has had three students graduate from F.L. Schlagle and another in the KCKPS district, says he too was sent videos of Tuesday morning's incident.
“Somebody could’ve lost their child today," Straws said. “In my mind it was just disturbing that our young people are going to that level of violence right now and they feel like fighting is the only way out.“
Potentially more important that what led to Tuesday's violence is ensuring kids are taught conflict resolution, whether at home or in school.
"We have to take the responsibility for this tragedy happening, not the teachers not the principals but the community must take accountability and responsibility for this violent activity, we could’ve done something," Pastor and F.L. Schlagle alumni, LaRon Thompson said.
Thompson has been fielding calls from parents after news of the alleged stabbing began to spread.
“And their hearts were broken, they were distraught, fearful of what happened and some of them said this could’ve been my child and certainly they were terrified because no one intervened," Thompson said.
Straws said he's putting a call out to all men in the community to attend a meeting next Tuesday at Mount Caramel Church of God and Christ.
"I’m calling on all the Latino men, the Black men, the white men, pastors, barbershops, everybody to come out because it’s time for us to start reaching these kids," he said.
KCKPS spokesperson Edwin Birch released the following statement:
"The incident that occurred today at Schlagle High School involving three students was unfortunate.
"Our teachers and staff strive to improve student performance by maintaining a positive learning atmosphere and experience for all students every day. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in our schools or on our school campuses. The District’s Crisis Response team was activated and is available for students and staff who need to talk about today’s incident.
"We are asking for parent and community support in our efforts to provide a safe learning environment for our students. Students who engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, health, or welfare of others will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the District’s Code of Conduct.
"Your help, cooperation, and support of KCKPS in these matters of discipline will be greatly appreciated.
"The District’s police department is working in collaboration with the Kansas City, Kansas Police department to investigate today’s incident."