Education Law

Dad Gets Protection Order Against 4th-Grader, Calls Child's Alleged Threats a Serious School Issue

When the father of a California elementary school student wasn’t satisfied with the school administration’s response to another child’s alleged threats, he took the matter outside.

In what may be a first for the school district, a local court in Riverside County has issued a restraining order to require the unidentified fellow fourth-grader to stay at least 20 feet away from Robert Casteel’s son Christopher prior to a February court hearing, reports the Press-Enterprise.

Casteel said he sought court protection because he felt officials in the Jurupa Unified School District didn’t respond sufficiently to the Jan. 11 incident at Mission Bell Elementary School. His son told him, he said, that the fourth-grade classmate who is the subject of the order pulled a knife on him and apparently threatened to “get you after school,” the newspaper recounts.

Other students who witnessed the incident reportedly told conflicting stories; however, a pocketknife with a 2½-inch blade was recovered. Casteel says the child who threatened his son brought it to school and was suspended for five days as a result.

“We’ve already got too many things happening in schools. Kids are getting shot and stabbed,” said Casteel, in a comment reported by the L.A. Now blog of the Los Angeles Times. “This isn’t something to take lightly.”

Superintendent Elliott Duchon called the situation “uncharted territory” and said the school would cooperate, although it isn’t in the business of law enforcement.. “We’ll do everything we can to protect the student if we feel he’s in any kind of danger,” he told the Press-Enterprise.

Related coverage: “Boy, 5, in Custody After Police Say He Stabbed 3; Juice Box Issue May Have Sparked Altercation”

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