Homemade Knife Found on 14-Year-Old After School Fight

Kinnelon police said a 17-year-old was sent to the hospital after being 'dropped' on his face.

A 14-year-old was found with a homemade knife at Kinnelon High School Thursday after allegedly fighting with a 17-year-old who was sent to the hospital with "serious" injuries, according to Kinnelon police Lt. John Schwartz.

The 14-year-old was charged with possession of a weapon on school property, although Schwartz said the knife, which was made from a pen and the tip of a hunting arrow, was not brought out during the fight or used to harm the 17-year-old.

The 17-year-old's injuries, to his face and head, were sustained after Schwartz said the 14-year-old allegedly picked the other teen up and "dropped him on his face." The teen was transported to Chilton Hospital by Tri-Boro First Aid Squad.

Kinnelon High School Principal Dr. Wayne Merckling said administrators contacted police.

"The police were called, responded quickly and made an arrest," he said.

Schwartz said police responded to the high school around noon after school officials had found the weapon when the fight was broken up.

"Apparently, there were ongoing issues between the two boys," Schwartz said.

Kinnelon High School staff members and administrators addressed the issue with students Friday morning.

"Most of you are aware by now that yesterday there was a fight in the hallway," the school administrators said in a statement read aloud to students. "Although not part of the fight, a weapon was found in school as well. As part of our investigation, and in dealing with this incident, we conducted a thorough search of those involved and have taken measures to secure the safety of everyone in school and maintain a safe environment for everyone in classes and in the halls, in school and out."

The statement continued by asking students to be proactive in reporting weapons and violence as they see them.

"In the process of the investigation we have learned that a number of students were aware of threats made toward students that included the use of weapons. The fact that this was not reported may have contributed to the serious injury of one of your peers. Going forward you must take these types of threats seriously and report them to someone you trust in the school or ask your parents to do so. If you have knowledge of students bringing weapons to school, that also must be reported. We must be united in our providing a safe environment for all of us to live in each day. We cannot do that without your help," the statement said.

Friday morning, staff members were advised to conduct random searches of students' belongings.

Katy Schrope October 26, 2012 at 07:58 PM
This is a sad story. I would hope that everyone reading this story and anyone living in Kinnelon would pray for both boys and their families, for our community as a whole, and for all of the dedicated KHS staff that are dealing with this issue. Instead of criticizing and condemning, as a community, let's be supportive of all sides and be part of the solution - TOGETHER.
Pray for the Families October 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Katy, I think the issue is the KHS administration is condemning and criticizing the students. I am praying for both boys and the families. You can not expect the community to take the high road and be supportive when KHS lacks quality leadership. I know you are new to KHS but this ain't StonyBrook and Kiel any more welcome to the world of KHS where the inmates run the asylum.
Flgtrs October 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I do agree with you that this child should have gotten help if he had had an issue in lower grades, but please do not jump to conclusions on there being drugs involved. In these schools the administration can only know so much if they are not told, maybe a student could have told them or maybe if the younger kid was being bullied he could have told someone. Im not trying to put blame on anyone because I believe it was the fault of everyone, the two kids, the administration, and the parents. Also I am a senior in the high school so I know a lot of what happens and not everyone in kinnelon is a bully or a druggie. In fact Im sure that you would be surprised how nice people are here and how few people are actually druggies. I am quite offended that you would say that, so please think before you write on this website because I'm sure I am not the only person who is offended by this remark.
Concerned Citizen October 27, 2012 at 02:16 AM
For such a small town, there is a lot of bullying in Kinnelon. Perhaps the District Bullying Coordinators need to speak to this at the next Bd. of Ed meeting. How can we make the HIB policy better? What programs does the District mandate to promote peer relationships, accepting differences and monitoring students with behavior issues? These are the questions we need to ask. My heart goes out to both families and the 2 children involved in this incident. We cannot judge anyone until we have walked in their shoes. Shame on KHS for playing the "blame game."
Concerned Citizen October 27, 2012 at 02:23 AM
You are right about one thing - What interventions did the child get in the lower grades? The District needs to answer to this.
Cgkinnelon October 27, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Wow...there's a lot of blame going around. There is really only one way to go with this one and it's called communication. As a concerned parent of younger children in the community, I can only pray that the parents and administration stop at nothing to keep lines of communication open as well as institute programs that encourage positive relationships based on kindness. Blaming is not going to fix it. Taking action in a positive direction will speak volumes over blaming. Maybe forming a parent group whose purpose is to help raise both awareness and formulate ideas for new peer relationship building assignments, programs and/or assemblies would be a small step for those two individuals involved and one giant leap for the whole student body. It's a start.
F October 27, 2012 at 04:21 AM
I understand why some of you jump to bullying but this is a 14 year old who savagely attacked the older boy, who was on crutches at the time and slammed him to the ground, breaking the orbital bone in his face. This 14 year old has had the police called on him for threatening his family - surprise folks maybe this is just a very bad kid that has not been dealt with and had NOTHING to do with bullying so lose the battle cry that we now blame everything on. If the KHS administration plans on letting this miscreant back into the school I will personally lead the charge to have him expelled. This child may be troubled and have issues at home but guess what - when you attack another person and put him in the hospital you get arrested and sent away until you learn how to deal with people in the real world. I refuse to be watching my back for when this little loser looks for the next person to attack from behind
F October 27, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Keep wondering Larry, you jumped to conclusions that are incorrect
F October 27, 2012 at 04:27 AM
What do you base that on, I have kids in school and hear the exact opposite, that there is not a great deal of bullying going on. I am shocked at how quickly people jump to bullying - kid attacks someone and of course its not his fault, he was bullied and someone pushed him to do it...
Concerned October 27, 2012 at 09:56 AM
"F" you do not have all the information. When you do, then you can play your blame game. For now, it is refreshing to see many comments here realize there are two kids both need help. I pray both families find the help and support. I also pray the school is safe for when they return! And yes, for a fact, the teachers were aware there was a safety issue and bullying going on, and now, retaliation talk in the school, what will the police and school do to keep everyone safe and find resolve. I hope the district is smart enough to do something.
IZZY October 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Volunteering in the schools for many years, I am familiar with both of these children. It is difficult to watch when a child takes a difficult path. I DO pray for both CHILDREN. I do believe that with the right intervention, the aggressor can be helped. If this boy was showing signs of distress in middle school, that is when the intervention should have began. I do not condone the magnitude of the fight but understand it was a fight between TWO individuals. We aren't privy to the reason of the fight but in time the truth will come out. What is more concerning is that it was something "simmering". Where are the families responsbility? I do question where the faculty was? Did it occur during class change? During classes?When we send our children to school it is with the understanding that they will be safe. And I find it irresponsible for the administration to blame the student body. It is a small school where many of the children "grew up" through the schools and the students were very upset. Instead of offering counseling to them, they chastise them. To the posters that don't feel the effects of bullying in the Kinnelon school system, consider yourself lucky but it is prevalent. The administration in the buildings need to monitor it better, become better educated, and most of all, be willing to get involved, not look the other way or do an "investigation" which results in it being the"victim's" problem.
Lulu October 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Re: Bullying It's easy to check on the stats. Just look up the Bd. of Ed. Notes. They have to report on this yearly. As a parent with 3 children in the school system , I know that the only anti-bullying assemblies my children have attended occurred last week. Where are the assemblies & programs for our students which help promote friendships & accepting differences? We have many special education students in town who could benefit from such programs as well. I would like to see the Supt. report in this.
girl October 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
okay, let me be the first to say most of what every single one of you is saying is absolutely false, there was no bullying involved in this situation, the younger boy was threatening the older boy due to the fact that he is clearly unstable, he made many threats to a large group of junior boys that have all spoke to the police. There was no "ongoing problem" it just began about a week ago with the threat that the younger boy clearly had every intention of following through with his threat of "i am going to stab you" I am to a student at the high school and know the entire true story. the younger boy clearly should be seeking some work of help. and as to all of you people blaming the older boy. SHAME ON YOU.. the poor boy is hospitalized, needless to say at that point regardless of the what started the fight..the younger boy clearly is at fault due to the severe damage he inflicted on the older boy. The blame is 100% on the younger boy, so stop point fingers when we should all be unified in the thought that the younger boy should be expelled and taken to somewhere with good help for him,
Lulu October 27, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Girl : No one is blaming the older boy. We are asking - why did this happen & what we could have done as a community to prevent this from happening. You just stated the younger boy was threatening the older boy - that is called bullying. Obviously the school hasn't done a great job in defining this concept to their students . This is where the problem lies.
girl October 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM
you are the only sane person on website right now. you actually know what happened clearly and that is why you have every right to say what your saying, don't listen to anyone else everything you are saying is absolutely accurate and i appreciate you actually knowing your facts before you speak...get that boy help and we should all pray for the older boy and his family to get well soon
a lady October 27, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Those reports on the school website ARE a joke. They are probably the 'proven' bullying cases, based on the administrations half cocked "investigations" and NOT the actual REPORTED cases and that's the real shame when the "victims" feel they are invalidated. If what YOU are saying is true, then the police knew, the administration knew, and I would presume the faculty was "filled in" on the ongoing situation. We don't know the true reason for the fight, only rumor, unless, you being a "girl" are a close friend of either of the boys and has first hand information. Yes, the boy was violent in his actions, yes, he should have a consequence, yes, we hope he gets the intervention he needs. However, putting aside the severity of the fight, I doubt it was random and obviously there is more to the story than we know. AND, the adults involved failed BOTH of them along the way.
Lulu October 27, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I just looked up who the Kinnelon District Anti- bullying coordinators are : Dr. Maizell & Mrs. Mulholland. I believe they should appear at the next board meeting & address all of the concerns above.
Facts October 27, 2012 at 02:32 PM
NorthJersey.com reported yesterday: http://www.northjersey.com/news/175984021_KHS_freshman_accused_of_possessing_homemade_knife_school.html?pages=all
Facts October 27, 2012 at 02:38 PM
NorthJersey.com reported yesterday: http:/www.northjersey.com/news/175984021_KHS_freshman_accused_of_possessing_homemade_knife_in_school.html?pages=all
Facts October 27, 2012 at 03:49 PM
NorthJersey.com posted yesterday an article written by Jeff Green and Donna Rolando for The Record titled 'KHS freshman accused of possessing homemade knife in school'. Hope the link below works, the article gives detailed account. http://www.northjersey.com/news.175984021_KHS_freshman_accused_of_possessing_homemade_kinife_in_school.htlm?
Maria D October 27, 2012 at 05:37 PM
There are a number of problems with your post. This boy HAS had interventions previously. Kinnelon is much more than a town of "bullies and drugs". Reporting rumors of weapons or violence in school alerts the administration to the issue, and allows them to respond accordingly.
Maria D October 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
You're not wrong in saying that the younger one is the one with major issues, but you ARE wrong in that it WAS an ongoing issue. Also remember that the older boy is the one who approached the younger one in this situation and began the fight. Being hospitalized doesn't erase blame. The younger boy has serious issues, but there's also more to be looked at here.
Maria D October 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
In a normal situation, you'd be right. But this isn't a normal situation. The younger boy has a history of issues and although there was ongoing conflict between the two boys, it's not what would be typically labeled as "bullying".
L. October 27, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Wasn't this 17 year old and friends accused of roughing up some of the 14 year old friends before school started this year? The H.S. & P.R.M. Administration knew of these issues already. Teens have issues, some more serious, but it is the parents, students and professionals who need to confront the issue straight on, not wait and see, then blame the kids when it is not settled. The article in northjersey.com states the 17 year old was pushing this kid around, before the younger boy picked him up and dropped him.
Confused parent October 28, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Confused parent: I read the article in the North Jersey .com and the article states that a security statement was read to the students and distributed to parents on Friday. As far as I know, most high school students take the bus or drive their car to school, so when was this statement handed out to high school parents? Was it handed out to the other schools in town but not the high school Superintendent DiGiuseppe? Or is the copy on the school web site seeing as all the schools have gone green?
cheech October 28, 2012 at 02:23 AM
F is pretty much right and I am sure if f wanted to say more could about the 14 yr old that would not be in his favor. I don't think everyone is listening to F and girl and Marie. So stop wondering how we could help the younger boy who was clearly in the wrong. If you don't know anything about when this happened or the victims themselves you would realize than its not something that could be fixed by anti-bullying programs and promoting assemblies. The 14 yr old is way beyond that. The boy is badly hurt and was assaulted.
Mike October 28, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Stop with this silly excuse of "bullying". If the kid is a trouble maker, KICK HIM OUT OF SCHOOL, and have his parents deal with his education.
V October 29, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Lauren- you are correct. The 17 year old boy started the incident first. The 14 year old did NOT savagely attack. He stood up for himself and fought back which is what any normal person would do. When a fight is started, there is ALWAYS one person who gets hurt more than the other. Maybe the 17 year old should have thought that before he started. F-I think you should get your story straight before you post incorrect information on a website for all to see. And the ironic part is the police believe the 14 year old did nothing wrong other than bring a weapon to school which WASN'T used in the altercation.
Concerned Citizen November 05, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I am in agreement.
Concerned Citizen November 05, 2012 at 01:38 AM
There are schools that deal with "troubled children." Maybe Kinnelon should have sent the 14 year old to a school that could have helped him if he posed a threat to himself and others.


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