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‘I don’t feel safe’: Students demand Northeast Middle School shut down after fatal stabbing

Parents stand in support of students who walked out of class at Northeast Middle School
Jacob Martin / KCUR 89.3
Parents show support of students who walked out of class at Northeast Middle School on Monday.

More than 100 students walked out of class Monday to raise concerns over safety measures after a 14-year-old student was killed by another student inside a school bathroom.

More than 100 students walked out of class at Northeast Middle School Monday to draw attention to their concerns over student safety.

Dozens of parents joined the rally, which was prompted by the fatal stabbing of Manuel Guzman, a 14-year-old eighth-grader, in the school’s bathroom last week.

Another 14-year-old student has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon in Jackson County Juvenile Court. His identity has not been disclosed because he is a juvenile.

Guzman’s family, other Northeast parents and the students called for school officials to shut down the school and institute improved security measures to prevent future violence.

Shortly after noon, the students walked out of class and stood at the edge of the school’s parking lot behind barricades. They chanted “Justice for Manny” and “Close the school.”

Annaly Juarez, the mother of an eighth-grade student, said the current safety protocols aren't enough.

“I have a lot of concerns,” Juarez said. “I feel like they could do better, that they could be checking the students' backpacks a little bit more thoroughly.”

Emma Santa Maria, an eighth-grader, said she’s worried about a similar incident occurring.

“Honestly, I don't feel safe ’cause if somebody could sneak a knife into the school, anybody could do it now,” Santa Maria said.

Kansas City Public School Superintendent Mark Bedell told families on Thursday that the district will conduct an internal investigation into the incident.

Classes at the school are scheduled to resume as scheduled this week.

Jacob Martin is a news intern at KCUR. Follow him on Twitter @jacob_noah or email him at Jacobmartin@kcur.org.
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