Students hold walkout after 11-year-old stabbed in Perth Amboy, New Jersey; protest also planned

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Monday, February 27, 2023
Students hold walkout after 11-year-old stabbed in Perth Amboy
Perth Amboy students walked out of classes Monday morning and another protest is set for outside City Hall after a young student was stabbed. Darla Miles has the story.

PERTH AMBOY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Perth Amboy High School students walked out of classes Monday and another protest is set for outside City Hall after a young student was stabbed.

More than a hundred students, all wanting their voices heard, staged a walkout and rally after first period and called on the district to step up public safety.

Some middle schoolers seen in cell phone video joined the protest after the older students marched a mile to Samuel Shull Middle School. Others yelled out of classroom windows.

"We got here, they were chanting 'we want justice,' some calling for the superintendent," Perth Amboy High School senior Marcelino Merino said. "Some students from Shull started coming out."

Students and parents say the district needs to crack down on violence on bullying, and parents are calling on the superintendent to step down.

While the stabbing happened off campus, authorities say it was the result of an argument that happened earlier in the day at school.

Authorities say 11-year-old Smailyn was stabbed on Johnstone Street last Wednesday as students were walking home from Samuel Shull Middle School.

The victim's father, Juan Jimenez, tells us his son was followed home and this attack was unprovoked.

Investigators say the suspect is also an 11-year-old boy. He is charged with juvenile delinquency crimes and is being held at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.

Jimenez says his son was stabbed twice in the abdomen and underwent surgery. It was a stranger in the area who first saw the 11-year-old hurt.

"I see him crying with blood on him, saying 'Help me, help me,'" said Zenobia Cruz, a resident. "I got out the car screaming to the EMTs 'Help, help, this boy is stabbed in the car.'"

"I'm not surprised because there are a lot of bad things that happen at the school. A lot of fights, getting jumped. Crazy stuff," said Andres Gonzalez, a student.

The city, the police department, and the school district sent a statement condemning the stabbing and said that they continue to work together to prevent and respond to acts of violence involving anyone in the school district.

Later Monday, the mayor's office issued a statement.

"My office remains focused on implementing all measures necessary for our students and faculty to feel safe that will prevent this from ever happening again," the statement said.

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