KENDALL (CBSMiami) – Students at Killian Senior High are showing support for one of their own who was stabbed on campus earlier this week.
On Thursday, they wore yellow in honor of 15-year old DeAndre Johnson who was stabbed Tuesday by a 17-year old senior in the school’s cafeteria.
Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian Moffett told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he felt the county’s schools were safe and he showed a schools’ public service announcement to the media that showed how schools police officers use metal detection wands to randomly check for contraband.
Schools Police Lt. Raul Correa also demonstrated how the wands were used and how they start beeping when metal objects and contraband are discovered.
“This is an outer body search of the front and back,” he said. “Male officers check male students and female officers check female students.”
Correa said because he did not want to reveal security measures that his officers take, he could not say how many wands the school system had and how frequently schools were checked.
Moffett said the school system had a comprehensive system that uses the wands, surveillance cameras and a battery of police officers and school resource officers.
“We believe random metal detection works,” he said. “Since I’ve been here we have increased these checks by 90 per cent.”
He also said he opposed setting up walk-through metal detectors at all schools.
“I don’t want schools to look like a prison,” he told D’Oench. “This is not conducive to a learning environment. Only two per cent of schools in the U.S. use such metal detectors.”
He quoted a U.S. Justice Department report that said the walk-through metal detectors were not effective in finding contraband in backpacks and purses.
Moffett spoke out as new 911 tapes were released that showed the anxiety in the voices of a number of students who were reporting the incident.
“There’s an emergency at Killian High School,” said one caller. “Someone has just been stabbed.”
“I’m at Miami Killian and a student just got stabbed,” said one worried caller.
A 911 dispatcher asks, “Where in the high school are they? Who did the stabbing?”
“I don’t know,” responds the caller. “The kid is on the floor and I don’t know. They already took away the girl that had a knife, but he’s on the floor.”
Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho visited the high school first thing Wednesday morning to speak with students, and staff, about the incident. He reminded the school that the stabbing was an isolated incident and that Killian is a safe place. He also commended how the situation was handled.
Carvalho, via Twitter, said he was “Grateful for the opportunity to have visited and prayed with brave @miamikilliansr [Killian High] student and family in hospital. #staystrong #knation.
Wednesday night students delivered a banner with the word’s “Pray for Dre” and handwritten messages from fellow students who wished him a speedy recovery. They also posted several pictures of it on Twitter with the message “One message one school #knation #CougarPride.”
Also on Wednesday Judd Rosen, an attorney for Johnson’s family, released a picture of the teen now in the hospital.
Johnson suffered a severed artery, punctured lung and internal bleeding. Rosen said initially the teen was given only a five percent chance of survival. The teen has made some progress in his recovery but is still ‘touch and go’, according to Rosen.
Rosen said Johnson, a 10th grader who is on the football team, is scared and shocked.
He said the boy claims he was not friends with his attacker and has no idea why he was targeted.
“He’s still in a tremendous amount of pain and a tremendous amount of shock about these circumstances and how his life was really inches from being taken from him,” Rosen said.
The suspect in the stabbing appeared before a judge in juvenile court by her mother’s side Wednesday.
During the hearing, the public defender in the case asked the judge to release the 12th grader from secure detention and instead place her under house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet.
“She’s not a flight risk by any means. This is her first-ever interaction with the criminal justice system,” the public defender said.
But the judge decided to keep the suspect locked up for the next 21-days as the state decides how they will proceed with her case.
“If they’re going to be filling charges and where they’re going to be filling them–if it’s going to be here in juvenile court or in adult court,” said Judge Maria de Jesus Santovenia.
After the hearing, the suspect’s family attorney said he’s looking into allegations that she was being bullied at Killian–which only added to the trauma she allegedly suffered at her former school Keys Gate Charter High School.
“There were allegations that she was raped by two football players at her previous school and there’s an ongoing legal matter with regard to that,” Jeff Herman said.
The school district said it was not aware of the alleged assault that happened at the suspect’s former school or any other issues.
“I think there should have been some notice on behalf of the school and the school board that this girl had a history of problems and was a ticking time bomb,” Rosen said. “Why was she transferred from this charter school to Killian and not given the counseling that she obviously needed?”
Schools Police Moffett said on Thursday, “At this time we have no information that there was any bullying. I have spoken to the Principal and a number of people and there were no reports of bullying.”
Martha Harris of the Miami-Dade school system said the school system had an elaborate framework to curb bullying in all grades. She also said students at all times can reach out to school counselors and other employees for help.
School psychologist Frank Zenere said the school system had a variety of programs to stop bullying.
Moffett also urged parents to “do their job” and keep an eye on what was going on with their children. And he urged everyone, “If you see something, say something.”
In addition to the knife used to stab Johnson, the girl had “two additional kitchen knives and a grilling fork” in her backpack, according to the arrest report.