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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Ocala kindergartener brings carved wooden knife to school

An Ocala kindergarten student was found to be in possession of a wooden knife at Shady Hill Elementary School on Wednesday.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy who serves as the school resource officer at the facility was called to the office by the school’s dean after the large, carved-out knife was found in the 5-year-old boy’s backpack by his teacher.

The deputy made contact with the dean and the student, who offered “several different reasons” for bringing the knife to school. He said his dad made it for him for his birthday and that it normally was kept in his father’s room. He also said that his father knew he took it and put it in his backpack, a sheriff’s office report states.

But then the boy changed his story and claimed the knife had been in his backpack for some time and he had forgotten about it. When asked what he was going to do with it at school, the boy “was too scared to answer and would not say anything else.” He shook his head no when asked if he was going to harm anyone, the report says.

A guidance counselor also spoke with the boy and couldn’t get any more information. The counselor said she was going initiate a low-risk assessment on the student. And his mother was called to come pick up the knife.

The dean said the school would handle disciplinary action and no law enforcement action was taken against the boy, the report says.

This marks the second time in two weeks the school’s resource officer has been called into action. Last week, he was alerted after a voicemail was left on the school’s phone system that included talking between a male and female, followed by a “a series of what appears to be gunshots” that lasted about a minute, a report says.