Students Return To Class After Deadly School Stabbing
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UPDATED 03/02/12 11:23 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Classes resumed Friday morning at the therapeutic day school on the Far South Side where a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Chris Wormley, 17, was killed in the attack inside the Infinity High School, at 10211 S. Crandon Ave. in the South Deering neighborhood. It was another 17-year-old boy at the school who allegedly stabbed him.
Another student was also stabbed in the attack as he tried to intervene to stop it. That boy, also 17, was released from Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn Friday morning and went home with his family.
Meanwhile, grief counselors were at the school Friday morning, meeting with students, parents and teachers.
The school is operated by AMI Kids, a private, Florida-based company under contract with the Chicago Public Schools to operate the school for students with behavioral and emotional problems. There are only about 20 students who attend the school.
Police say the stabbings happened around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, just before classes began.
The students had yet to pass through the metal detectors in the front vestibule of the school, where security personnel checked students for weapons.
“When the kids come in, they’re screened prior to entering,” AMI Kids spokeswoman Sherri Ulleg said. “We have a wand that that they go through. They also have a pat-down.”
Ulleg said the suspect had attended the school for two years, and all the boys involved in the incident knew each other.
Ulleg said Kids says there was a previous dispute between Wormley and his attacker.
“There was some tension previously between the kids, and it had been addressed with our staff members with both of the students,” she said.
The surviving victim who tried to stop the fight suffered stab wounds to the head.
“The other kid, he was actually in between the two kids, and so he was in the wrong place,” Ulleg said.
As teachers, students and parents try to find some answers Friday, grief counselors will try to facilitate the conversations.
Grief counselor Felicia Levy said she would advise the teachers to “just be talking about some standard reactions on how to cope when some type of crisis or grief situation when it happens – things to look out for, how to take care of themselves, how to take care of each other.”
At Infinity, Friday will be a shortened school day mostly centered around counseling.
Meanwhile, Wormley’s family members are also talking about the attack. They said Thursday night that they don’t believe he started the fight that led to the stabbings, and they also say Wormley characterized the school as an unsafe place.
“He used to always tell me he [felt] threatened at the school,” Wormley’s mother, Charmayne Prince, told CBS 2’s Mike Parker. “He didn’t want to be there.”
Family members were grateful for actions of the student who intervened and ended up injured himself.
“I don’t know who it is, but whoever it is, I thank him and his family for all he did. He got hurt in the process,” Prince said. “But I really appreciate him trying to help my child.”
Meanwhile, the executive director of the school said all security procedures will be reviewed.
“Anytime anything happens, I think we will have to look at everything that we do and how we do it. So everything is on the table at this point,” said executive director Willie Tubbs said.
Ulleg also said security procedures will be reviewed, but because the stabbing happened in the entryway just a few feet from security, there is nothing the company can really change.
As for Wormley’s family, they say they will focus on happy memories of him – times when he’d volunteer at the city’s Animal Care and Control Center.
“He was like a big teddy bear; always smiling, always had a smile on his face; video games and basketball,” said his sister, Carleasa Wormley.
No charges had been filed against the suspect as of 11 a.m. Friday.