Fifth-grader impaled in school cafeteria accident in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A fifth-grader was impaled on an exposed metal pole in an Alabama school's cafeteria.

Stacy Minnifield, the student's mother, says a nurse called her around lunch time to tell her about an accident at Hudson K-8. The school's cafeteria tables have individual plastic seats attached to metal poles.

At least one plastic seat was missing leaving a pole exposed.

Minnifield explained to WBRC how her daughter described the incident.

"She let me know that they got into the lunchroom, she got a tray, she got ready to sit down and didn't notice that it didn't have a bar stool there. She plopped down, immediately felt the pole, and that's when she started to hurt," Minnifield said.

The pole tore her pants and caused bleeding and pain. Minnifield took her 10-year-old daughter to the hospital.

"We discovered it was both rectal and towards the front area/private area," Minnifield said.

Doctors expect her daughter to make a full recovery but say it could be lengthy. On Friday, she rested at home and said her pain was at a nine on a 10-point scale.

"It makes me feel horrible," said Minnifield. "The thing that I want to do as a parent is to trade places with her, give me that pain so she won't hurt."

The Birmingham City School Superintendent's office provided a statement:
"As a result of this unfortunate incident at Hudson K-8, all cafeterias have been surveyed and all student seating is up to standards.
Minnifield says this incident was avoidable. Now, she says they are left with an injury that is more than physical."

"She's hurt and it's embarrassment as well. For this to happen in the lunchroom as well, in front of teachers, the whole fifth-grade class, along with other classes as well, it's just a total embarrassment as well," she said.
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