'Code of silence' followed Maumee High stabbing - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

'Code of silence' followed Maumee High stabbing

"There's a culture of, 'I don't want to tell. I don't want to be seen as a snitch," said Officer Jackie Wegman. "There's a culture of, 'I don't want to tell. I don't want to be seen as a snitch," said Officer Jackie Wegman.
"You can trust them," said Jordan Neipp, "They're not always on your bad side. They can help you out." "You can trust them," said Jordan Neipp, "They're not always on your bad side. They can help you out."

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - Police say a Maumee High School student would not tell on a classmate even after he was stabbed in a locker room incident Wednesday. The school resource officer says it was not until other students saw him bleeding in the cafeteria after he'd been hurt that adult staff and police were notified.

Both students and the resource officer at the school say there is a code of silence among kids. "There's a culture of, 'I don't want to tell. I don't want to be seen as a snitch," said Officer Jackie Wegman, who has been Maumee High's school resource officer for the past couple of years.

"Most kids are under the impression that, 'If you tell on me, then you're a snitch.,'" said student Jordan Neipp, "They think that they'll get made fun of." He adds that when initially asked by students if he was bleeding, the injured boy said the red stain was from having a slushee poured on him.

Once the stabbing was realized, police and school officials acted quickly. The school was put on lockdown, and the victim was treated at a local hospital for a stab wound to the leg. The 14-year-old accused of the stabbing was found at his father's home and taken into custody. Within 24 hours, the Lucas County Juvenile Justice System charged the boy with aggravated assault.

While the school considers what should happen to the accused teen, lack of communication is again an issue. "He never talked to anyone about how he was feeling," said Wegman,  "Or if he had a problem with students, that was never brought to anyone in the administration or myself's attention."

The accused student has a clean record, and officials say no one knows what made him resort to violence. Detectives say he probably acted out of rage. They say the trouble began in the boy's locker room with three or four students trading off-color comments, or "razzing" each other. Investigators say the student charged with assault lost his temper and stabbed his classmate.

After this incident, the district is asking parents to help break the code of silence. The district wants all parents to talk their children and encourage them to open up to an adult when something is wrong. "You can trust them," said Neipp, "They're not always on your bad side. They can help you out."

Copyright 2009 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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