NAUGATUCK — School officials have launched an investigation after an 8-year-old girl discovered a knife in her locker at Hop Brook Elementary School Monday.
The girl took her backpack out of the locker when what she described to her parents as a knife with a long blade fell near her foot. She was not injured and immediately notified her teacher, school officials said.
Hop Brook Principal Kathy Taylor sent a letter home to parents on Tuesday to notify them of the incident and let them know that school officials are investigating, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Chris Montini said.
“It is a short letter that reinforces safety is our number one priority,” he said.
Officials do not know how the knife ended up in the girl’s locker, and they believe the girl’s story, Montini said.
He said lockers in kindergarten through sixth grade are not locked in borough public schools.
The girl’s father, Eric Cyr, said he filed a report with the Naugatuck Police Department Monday night. He said his daughter was upset and scared.
“We tried to tell her that a kid was probably showing off the knife to someone in the hallway when a teacher came out and they opened a random locker and put it in there,” he said.
He said his daughter has never had any problems at the school. Still, he wishes the school had handled the situation differently.
He believes school administrators could have had a police officer talk to all of the students immediately and urge whoever is responsible to come forward.
“I think if the cops went down there right away, they could have had a better chance at finding someone,” he said. “I hope they do investigate, but I know the chances of them finding someone are slim to none.”
Naugatuck police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata said officers made themselves available and met with school officials. He described the knife as a legal, folding knife with a blade about the length of four fingers across.
Cammarata said at this point there’s no criminal aspect of the incident. He said police are not investigating the incident and it’s being handled internally by the school system.
Elio Gugliotti contributed to this story.