School and police officials reported that, on Feb. 4, a man with a knife approached a 7th grade student outside the middle school and cut the student’s clothing. The student was not harmed.
McLean Middle School principal John Engel said that, after days of investigating the allegation, both the school and the police found that the story of the attempted aggravated assault was fabricated.
According to a report from Fort Worth police officer Charles Gonzalez, the student was playing before class and tore his shirt. The student made up the incident so that he would not get into trouble, Gonzalez said.
While being interviewed by the detectives, the student recanted his story and told detectives he had lied “to make him look tough in front of his friends,” said Sgt. Steve Enright, public relations officer with the Fort Worth Police Department.
The student said his shirt had actually been torn while playing with friends and he was afraid his father would punish him, according to the report.
After the incident, the school changed their arrival and dismissal procedures.
“We will keep the new dismissal and arrival procedures that we changed two weeks ago,” Engel said. “Things are a lot smoother this way.”
Engel told parents in a letter sent home with students that the incident is still an opportunity to address safety.
“We remain very serious about the safety of our students, staff and campus visitors,” Engel said.
In the letter, Engel said “it was unfortunate that we had to raise the level of concern within our campus family.”
Despite the false alarm, the letter still encouraged the community to remain vigilant.
“If you see something that doesn’t look right, say something.”
Madeline Hamm is an education reporter for the 109. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @madhamm.