Teenager in Clown Mask Stabs Fellow Pupil in Chest at Texas School, Police Say

A teenager wearing a clown mask stabbed a fellow pupil in the chest and arm at a Texas school, say police.

The incident took place on Thursday at around 10.30 a.m. at Handley Middle School in Fort Worth.

Officials say the two sixth graders were in a math class when one boy attacked the other with a box cutter in what is believed to be an unprovoked attack.

The injured child, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

His 13-year-old attacker was taken into police custody for questioning. It is unclear at this time whether the teenager is facing any charges.

Tracy Carter, spokesperson for Fort Worth Police Department, told Newsweek that police responded to calls of a cutting at 2801 Patino Road (Handley Middle School) at 10.27 a.m.

She said: "Officers investigated an incident where a 13-year old male with a clown mask and armed with a box cutter attacked a fellow classmate, injuring them in the arm and chest.

"The victim was transported to an area hospital for their non-life-threatening wounds. The actor was taken into custody."

Clint Bond, spokesman for the Fort Worth Independent School District, told Newsweek that as far as they were aware, the boys did not know each other.

He said: "A sixth grade male student in a sixth grade math class unexpectedly stabbed another sixth grade male student during the same class.

"The victim was treated on scene by MedStar and left with his mother. Injuries not believed to be life threatening. Actor taken into custody."

The stabbing has put violent attacks while at school back in the headlines.

Last October Newsweek reported how the Department of Justice announced it was awarding over $85 million in grants to schools across the country for the purpose of addressing gun violence.

The funds, awarded to 215 jurisdictions under the banner of the 2018 STOP School Violence Act, were designated for targeted programs that help develop threat assessment teams, school safety infrastructure, coordination with law enforcement and mental health training, among other initiatives.

Speaking at the time, Michael Dorn, of Safe Havens International, a non-profit which helps schools devise security protocols, thought the areas of focus emphasized by the Justice Department were wholly appropriate for improving campus safety.

"Those topical areas as described are excellent, especially the mention of student threat assessment and management," Dorn told Newsweek in October 2019.

"Those areas are typically some of our most reliable measures to prevent planned attacks by internal actors. The one that's not on here that we feel is one of the most important is supervision. Improving student supervision is one of the most effective ways to reduce a whole array of safety events, including homicide."

School playground
File photograph of children in a school playground. Police are investigating after a child was stabbed at a school in Fort Worth, Texas. Getty