First-grader brings knife to Alderwood Elementary, makes threats

An Alderwood Elementary School first-grader brought a knife to school and made threats toward staff and students on Tuesday morning, May 3, but ultimately harmed no one.

School staff had already taken the box-cutter from the 7-year-old boy by the time deputies with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office arrived just after 9 a.m., Chief Criminal Deputy Doug Chadwick said.

School staff was trying to bring students inside to start the day’s lessons when staff members approached the boy. The boy turned and ran away, at one point yelling to staff that he had a knife and made threats to “hurt somebody by the end of the day,” Chadwick said.

Staff immediately called police and the boy’s parents, and eventually isolated the student. The boy, Chadwick said, presented the knife in a non-threatening way, and then placed it in a plastic box to give to staff.

Deputies did not arrest the boy and are working with parents and school staff to evaluate the student’s behavioral health.

“At this point, everybody’s more concerned for this young man’s well being and trying to get him some of the assistance he needs,” Chadwick said.

Bellingham School District spokeswoman Jacqueline Brawley said she could not say if or how the student would be disciplined. But the district, she said, has a no-tolerance policy for students who bring weapons to school, and it calls for emergency expulsion regardless of age or grade.