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Coral Gables High School Stabbing Leaves Student Dead

(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
A woman waits with other parents near the Coral Gables High School after a student was stabbed to death Sept. 15, 2009 in Coral Gables, Fla.

MIAMI (AP) One student stabbed another to death during a fight Tuesday in a courtyard at a suburban high school, authorities said.

Police did not identify the attacker, who was taken into custody immediately after the stabbing at Coral Gables Senior High School.

School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said a fight happened sometime after 9 a.m. as students moved from first- to second-period classes. He could not say what the two students were arguing about or how many others saw the stabbing.

No information was released about the student who died. Miami-area television stations flew helicopters over the school and broadcast footage of a body covered in a sheet, lying in a pool of blood in the courtyard.

"Our collective hearts go out to the family of the victim," said Carvalho, who called it a "catastrophic loss."

The school, in an affluent suburb southwest of downtown Miami, has 3,300 students on a 26-acre campus.

In the hours after the stabbing, frantic parents gathered near the football field outside of the school, which remained on lockdown. Students were encouraged to remain throughout the day, though they could leave if their parents picked them up.

The superintendent said lunch and water were provided in classrooms, and psychologists trained in crisis management were dispatched to the school to talk to staff and students.

A violent incident such as this is one of the "toughest situations that any educator faces," Carvalho said.

He added that parents and the community need to teach students "better manners" and "instill a greater sense of personal and civic advocacy."

Sharon Watson, vice president of fundraising and former president of the school's parent-teacher organization, told the Miami Herald that school administrators contacted parents of students involved in the fight.

"If you have not heard anything, even from your child, everything's OK," she said.
  • Ryan Smith

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