MANATEE -- An 8-year-old student was charged with aggravated assault after he reportedly threatened a staff member with a knife about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
The child didn't want to go to class at Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary School, 400 30th Ave. W., according to Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office. The student would not enter his classroom and ran toward the back of the campus where the incident happened, Bristow said.
He pulled out a small knife, which Bristow said was likely a pocket knife, and threatened a staff member with it.
"He's a troubled kid," Bristow said.
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No one was injured in the incident.
Deputies took the child to
the Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center. He is being charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife on school property. Manatee County elementary schools do not have school resource officers on campus.
In a statement, Manatee County School Superintendent Diana Greene called the situation "sad and troubling."
"Regardless of the age of the student, any acts of violence or threats in our schools must and will be handled seriously and in accordance with criminal law and our school district's Code of Student Conduct." Greene said in the statement.
Greene applauded the actions of Principal Maribeth Mason and members of the support staff for defusing the situation and making sure no one was injured.
The safety of students and staff is always the top priority, Greene said.
"Even though this particular act was egregious, we will still support this student and the student's family by helping them to get the most appropriate help needed so this student can be successful in our school district and in life," Greene said.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.