When a North Cumberland Elementary student's father received a phone call from his nephew stating his son had been cut on the school bus, he thought maybe it was an accident or a result of horseplay. However, he soon found out his son had been intentionally sliced in the arm by another student.

The mother took her son to the emergency room and the father went to the school to find out what had happened. Later in the day, he filed a complaint with Juvenile Officer Bobby Edwards and the case is now under investigation by Cumberland County Sheriff's Department Investigator Jeff Slayton. The father of the hurt child said he went to the juvenile officer and that the school system did not inform the sheriff's department about the incident.

"It took 10 stitches at the emergency room to sew it up ... we're not talking about a punch in the face on the playground here. This was an attack with a weapon," Marc Barnwell said.

According to Barnwell, his 12-year-old son was on the school bus Monday morning when a 14-year-old student motioned for him to come sit down next to him. When the boy sat down the older boy allegedly grabbed his arm and struggled with him momentarily and sliced the younger boy's arm with a knife.

The entire incident is captured on the bus' surveillance camera videotape.

"The school system would not let me see the videotape, but the sheriff's department does have the tape now. The investigator told me that the tape clearly shows it happening and who was involved," Barnwell said.

Barnwell said the student who cut his son reportedly handed the knife off to another student who concealed it, hid the knife in a milk carton once at school, and threw it away in the garbage at the cafeteria at North Cumberland.

"I have not seen the actual knife, but I believe it was a Winchester money clip that has a fold-out blade attached to it. It has not been recovered," Investigator Slayton said.

The bus driver was notified about the cut by students on the bus and a relative of the wounded student called his parents with his cell phone to notify them about the incident.

Barnwell said the bus then continued to the school without stopping.

Pat Allen, principal at North Cumberland Elementary said she was notified of the incident when the bus arrived at school.

Allen conducted an investigation in order to find out what happened and said the object that was used was a money clip. The item has not been recovered.

Director of Schools Pattie Ragsdale said the student who cut the other student was sent home Monday and was expelled for one calendar year after a disciplinary hearing Tuesday. If his parents want to provide transportation, he could possibly attend school at the alternative school as early as August of next school year.

"This was certainly a serious offense ... Student safety is our primary concern and we're not going to let a student who harms other students like this attend school. There may be criminal charges involved from a legal standpoint, but this was very serious and we imposed the most harsh punishment we have," said Director of Schools Dr. Pattie Ragsdale.

Ragsdale also said the item was a money clip that was discarded by the student, picked up by another student and thrown away.

"The parent went to Bobby Edwards while Pat Allen was investigating. She would have certainly contacted the sheriff's department and was going to, but they had already been contacted before her investigation was concluded," Ragsdale said.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Department Investigator Jeff Slayton and Assistant District Attorney Gary McKenzie said the sheriff's department was not notified of the incident until 2:15 p.m. Monday through Edwards.

"We're always concerned with any type of violence on or near school property ... We don't want to jump to any conclusions right now about why we weren't informed about the incident until 2:15, but at this time we are investigating all of it," McKenzie said.

"We are working with the DA about all of this and it's still under investigation from a variety of angles, but it wasn't handled properly," said Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess.

According to Investigator Slayton, the cutting of another student like this is considered aggravated assault which is a Class C felony.

"A juvenile felony warrant has been signed out by the father and we are still investigating this case," Slayton said.

As of press-time Thursday afternoon, no arrests have been made in connection with the case, although charges may be pending.

The student had to go through a series of bloodwork testing, is recovering and returned to school on Thursday, his father said.

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