LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A dozen elementary school children in the same class took part in a self-cutting incident last week, according to authorities.

At least one of the students required hospital treatment.

The incident took place at Normandie Avenue Elementary located in the 4500 block of South Raymond Street last Thursday.

Alarmed parents and school officials initially believed there may have been an impromptu pact among students to attempt suicide.

Students in the 5th grade class where the cutting took place, report that a classmate took apart a pencil eraser and that students started passing the blade around. The cutting took place in front of a substitute teacher, one parent alleged.

Joshua Mendoza, a 5th grader, says the students were more likely making a statement against bullying. “They got all crazy and started cutting themselves. They were actually doing it in class.”

Parent Letitia Grayes has a son who attends the school. She says no one from the school informed parents. Grayes heard about the incident from other parents.

She accuses the school of trying to keep the incident quiet. “By keeping it under the table, I think that’s wrong.”

She adds, “They should of had a parents’ conference. Or they should have sent some letters home — we should have been aware of it.”

The school’s principal acknowledges children were sent to the hospital and said one remains there. How many students were involved or how long it took for the teacher to stop it has not been released.

The head of LA Unified School District’s mental health program says as many as 20 students were interviewed. Pia Escudero says, “We see a lot of behavior that is similar to this…children seeking help. Attention-seeking, suicide behavior — or doing things that aren’t healthy.”

Comments (28)
  1. Steve says:

    If the problem didn’t involve your kid, then why do you need to know? This incident had no danger toward her kid in the immediate present. Will it be a future problem maybe, hopefully then administrators and teachers will be able to deal with it. Also, the school couldnt’ inform anyone outside the incident because it might leave them open to lawsuits.

    1. Typical says:

      Parents love getting involved after the fact. Most parents don’t care about what their kids do until they want some media attention. Where are the parents when homework needs to get done, or their kid(s) are at an underage party drinking? No one ever takes responsibility for their own actions.

      1. juztees says:

        It’s so easy to put the blame on parent’s when none of us know’s what goes on behind closed door’s. However your right, most parent’s dont have aclue about their kid’s activities. I think the blame lies on the absent parent’s in the children’s home’s.
        This whole world is worst . The parent’s need to monitor what the kid’s watch on tv and music.
        It’s hard when there is no father in the picture.
        But, the school’s should have anti-bullying enforced in the campus and camera’s.
        One time my son in fourth grade was bullied everyday by a group of spoiled rich kid’s….and my son kept seeking help and I as well , til one day, my son could’nt take it no more and he threated to burn down the school because he kept asking for the teacher assistant’s to monitor the recess and lunch caffeteria, but he alway got assaulted and the adults that were supposedly be supervising never caught those awful bullies. I did have a talk with the principal and well…..I was at a point where I think that getting an older kid to handle all of them bullies was pending. I am a single mom working full time. Yes, it’s hard, especially in certain districts. This all took place in Tx. three yrs. ago. School official’s need to stand up as well and not take favor in certain class of kid’s economical back ground. Oh yes, it does happen. That’s why everything is so messed up.

    2. Mary says:

      A parental conference should have been with only the parent/parents/guardians involved! Yes, they should have been notified that day!! No, NO one else should have been notified! I agree that would have led to confidentiality issues!

      1. rp says:

        no confidentiality issues if they dont use names, they can make the rest of the parents ware that there was an incident, schools do that all the time

    3. rp says:

      actually, even if your kid wasn’t part of it, since it was a large group of kids, the parents of all should be informed because their kids could be being pressured into doing the same. Parents need to be aware so they talk to their kids, and informing other parents wouldn’t open them to lawsuits as long as they didn’t state the names of the students involved.

      1. juztees says:


      2. tlc001 says:

        I completely agree. I have a 5th grader, and I would definitely want to know if something like this was going on in the school/class. Not because I’m a nosey parent, not because I would sue the school. But because I care enough about my children to discuss with them what is going on. I have a very open relationship with my children, and they tell me about whats going on everyday. I would want to know so that discussion can be held at my home.

  2. Parent of Normandie Student says:

    My son attends this school and there was no information given to parents.I just saw the story on the evening news. I agree if your child wasn’t directly affected by this incident then you don’t need to know. This is very sensitive and parents shouldn’t be informed just to stand around school and gossip about this. These students need serious counseling because this is deeply rooted problem. You would think if the parents talked to there children and give them some attention this would’ve never happened. They did this in front of a teacher which means they are crying out for help and attention

    1. Dammit says:

      It’s precisely because this happened right under the nose of a teacher in the classroom that every parent who has a child attending that school should, and does, have an interest in the incident. It demonstrates a failure of supervision. It’s just baffling that no one among these comments seems to get that.

      1. juztees says:

        Your right

    2. rp says:

      Being that it was a large group, there maybe a a few that have real issues, but it was probably mostly a peer pressure issue to do something “cool”. Doesnt anyone remember the pencil eraser burn game with all did as kids, let someone burn u with an eraser till u cant handle it, i know u all remember.

  3. greg says:

    She accuses the school of trying to keep the incident quiet. “By keeping it under the table, I think that’s wrong.” Well I think it’s wrong for you to think you should be informed when some other kid does something. Your kid is fine and not involved, so stop trying to act like you care, spend more time learning how to speak, it’s not “keeping it under the table”

    1. rp says:

      when a large group of kids does something like this it endangers other students because they could be being pressured to do the same, all parents should be made aware of the incident, but no names should be given, and this is legal.

  4. Astonished says:

    The students got the razor blade from pencil erasers? ??? Where the heck does this school buy it’s supplies??

    1. j says:

      Pencil sharpeners have one razor blade and any kid can step on the plastic sharpener to get the blade out.

  5. Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot says:

    Can you blame these kids? If I had to endure the daily encounters with these incompetent LAUSD teachers molesting me, I would want to commit suicide as well.

  6. MIKE says:

    it’s an old ancient ritual that the mayans used to do.they would cutt themselves in a offering to the extra-terrestrial gods. \m/

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey, I just watched that episode of Ghost Hunters International too!

  7. Pedro says:

    “Should have”, not “should of”.

  8. I have grandchildren that attend Normandie Ave. .The school has to report to the parents whom kids are involved.That’s the law. take your kids to a psyciatrist if he or she have showing evidince or signs of self harm. Parents you know your kids.

  9. Thats_Right_I_Said_It says:

    These kids were looking for attention. They went across the railroad tracks not up it. They didn’t do it right way is the cheap way to call attention to yourself.

  10. crabman says:

    first fire the teacher then find out whats going on in that school

  11. Sabine says:

    fire that damn teacher and start worrying what the heck is going on with these children and the school .

  12. Don't Act Concerned says:

    Adults sexually prey on kids, adults physically beat kids to death and/or death by hanging, adults become foster parents for money and lock the kids in cages hidden in basements, adults starve kids to death, they have to endure the screams from their mom beat downs nightly that keeps them awake til early a.m. And is expected to get an “A” in school one one or two hours of sleep. Wouldn’t you want to die?

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