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Posted on Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 9:15 a.m.

Ypsilanti High School student stabbed on school property, deputies say

By Lee Higgins

A 17-year-old Ypsilanti High School student was arrested Tuesday after investigators say he stabbed a female student multiple times with a knife on school property.

The 17-year-old victim was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital after the 2:54 p.m. attack, Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies said.

She remained hospitalized this morning in stable condition after undergoing surgery and is expected to recover. Deputies say the victim was stabbed on a dirt trail in a wooded area east of the school after getting into a fight with the other student, who is an acquaintance of hers. It's unclear what the the two were fighting about, sheriff's department spokesman Derrick Jackson said.

Someone walking on the trail near the school's football field on Packard Road found the victim and called 911, Jackson said. At least one wound was to the victim's back, Jackson said. Deputies say the victim was alert when she was taken to the hospital.

Investigators say the attacker left the scene, but was quickly apprehended at his Ypsilanti home without incident. Jackson said he did not know whether the knife was recovered. The teen was taken to the Washtenaw County Jail. So far, no charges have been filed as county prosecutors review the case.

The stabbing occurred about 30 minutes after school let out, officials said. Ypsilanti Public Schools spokeswoman Emma Jackson said the alleged assailant has been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation. School officials sent a message to parents, students and staff Tuesday night to let them know counselors and social workers will be available as needed, she said.

Anyone with information can call the sheriff department's tip line at (734) 973-7711.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and e-mail at



Fri, Feb 4, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

As a current student at Ypsilanti High School, I don't know where some of this information is coming from. We are allowed to wear backpacks and fights do not happen every day. From someone who actually attends Ypsilanti High School, not the ECA or the New Tech program, I feel I am pretty aware of what happens inside the school. And although there have been fights, like there are at all schools, I have never felt unsafe. And along the lines of the administration, a lot of changes are being made, and in a very positive direction. Our new principal is always in and out of our classes, sitting in. And yes, it takes a while to make up for many years of a shaky administration, but you have to start somewhere. And running away from the problem never helps. I'm a student who could have left at the first sign of trouble a long time ago, but my experience in Ypsilanti has been positive.


Fri, Feb 4, 2011 : 4:17 a.m.

@SandyCastle if your kids do not attend Ypsilanti High School then why are you judging what goes on there? You are not enrolled at that school so you don't know the good outcome from those good students. All you seem to be caring about is the negative. Yes, a stabbing did occur around the school but that doesn't mean everything is wrong with the school. It is true that a lot of our tax dollars go toward the school so we should be involved but we can't change how other parents raise there kids. All we can do is help the school by making it a better place not tearing it down calling it a bad school.

Sandy Castle

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 11:50 p.m.

@beard, My knowledge is exactly right on. It comes from the Sheriff's Dept staff and staff at the school district itself, as well as students. Keep burying your head in the sand and the district will never step up and improve, not in their curriculum nor in keeping your kids safe. Change requires the courage to step up and demand better! Because for 13 years the district has been alot of talk, "Strong from start to finish", well, that's all it is. Talk. They have some of the best teachers in Washtenaw County, and there are alot of wonderful kids in Ypsilanti, but until you have an administration that actually knows how to do the job they're paid to do, it won't work. And withholding information from parents and distancing themselves from what's happening in their schools are not things that inspire trust in the community.


Fri, Feb 4, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

I think the students might be more informed than you...Milan needs your input. You have abandoned YPS and seem to want us all to play follow the leader with you...sorry but Milan cannot hold us all


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

Hey Sandy Castle - Your knowledge is not what you think it is. You are being a gossip. All you are doing is stirring the pot. There are many ways to help. Airing out hearsay is not at all helpful for the high school, the district, or your reputation for that matter. If you feel like YHS needs more supervision, volunteer your time.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

This story has already made the Detroit News. The young lady is stable after surgeries. Sad that 17 yr. olds are adults. (meaning that they can leave home and do not have to return). I remember a case where the police were able to tell the parents she was safe, but could not tell her to go home. Best wishes for fast recovery to the victim.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

It is so great to read comments from students, both current and former, in this thread. And wasn't there a middle school stabbing incident in Dexter around this time last year? @Sandy Castle-I'm sure there are lots of people that would be more than happy to have you spend some time at YHS so you are able to understand the current environment. I've heard that their current Principal, Kwame Stephens, is doing a wonderful job.

Jim Pryce

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

I am a 1980 grad of YHS & my daughter is in her Freshman year. This is the first stabbing in the woods, but there were assaults going on in those woods back when I was in school. If you go to class, do your homework, be a good student, you'll be fine. Back in 1980 we were told to stay out of the woods on our way to & from school. Some people are just to lazy to take a bit longer route, & walk in a group. We used to live in the AA district, & my Son who graduated from Huron last year brought home reports of racial issues with students there. All schools have problems.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

Monitor what goes on in that school? What makes you think that the school is not being monitored in the correct way. As a student who currently attends Ypsi high, i don't witness a fight on a "daily" basis. Although fights do periodically happen, as I'm sure they happen in every other high school, it is a matter of seconds before there is a quick response from the administration and staff. We are allowed to wear backpacks, which shows how "updated" your facts are. Please make sure that all of your facts are correct before adding wood to the fire, criticizing, and defaming Ypsilanti High School. In my opinion the school is doing a fine job informing parents through pace calls, keeping it to a appropriate level for the privacy of those involved in the incident.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

It is sad to hear of this event and I understand everyone's concern over school safety. I just hope that we are not all naive enough to think that violence only happens at schools like YHS and Willow Run. It is easy for some people to look down at high poverty schools and assume that all the students there lack class, supervision, intelligence and self-control. However, Ypsi High is full of many wonderful students! Those students are now feeling hurt, angry, and confused over this situation. It does not help for people to be bashing their school, their teachers, and their district. Why hit them when they're down? The entire student body does not need to be made to feel like losers because of the poor behavior of a few. Unfortunately, it is always a few bad apples that make the whole bushel look bad. And make no mistake about it, there are bad apples everywhere! Not just in Ypsi.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

Also, though our administration has its downfalls (as all do), they do a decent job of keeping us informed through PACE calls; it is not necessary to call home every time there is a fight. That the violence at the high school is escalating, is a matter of perspective, but I don't think it is. There has been ups and downs throughout the years, and right now the rate of violence is a lot less than at the beginning of this school year. All schools have their problems, but that is no reason to abandon it. I love Ypsilanti High School and am glad I have gone there for the past four years.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

Thank you, Tom! It is so helpful to have a student's perspective! Stay involved.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

Well said, young man! YHS is lucky to have you!


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

Hello. I am a current Ypsi High senior and have attended YHS my entire high school career. I can confidently say that I have never felt unsafe at Ypsi High and know many staff that can say the same. As a student, I can say that some information in the comments is not entirely accurate. There was one day earlier in the school year when the rule of no backpacks was stated. However, there was a different principle than the current, that rule was never enforced, and does not exist today.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

@Sandy Castle, How can I "see from the article" that "violence is escalating at the high school"? What I can see is that an extremely violent incident occurred in the woods near the school. This is unfortunate and distressing, but does not itself mark a trend. My kids go to Ypsi High. They have seen some fights over the years, but mostly, according to one, "scuffles." I do agree that we need to keep each other informed. However, I think we need to present accurate information. It also helps if the information shows a balanced, objective perspective. When you say, "And I do understand, sometimes it's easier to NOT know what's really going on," I sure hope that you are not implying that I am sticking my head in the sand over the high school issues. When you're an ypsilistener, you hear a lot. And I have absolutely been involved in keeping our students safe.

Sandy Castle

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

I agree ;o) My perspective should not be the only one you listen to. Just keep your eyes and ears open and make sure the only perspective you listen to isn't coming from the district. It behooves them to only tell you the good things, or to try and spin them in a positive way. When I called the office about the lockdown (because a busload of kids from New Tech were denied entry into the high school after a field trip) I was told it wasn't an "official" lockdown because they didn't announce it as such. Nobody was allowed to leave classrooms and ingress and egress to the school were not allowed. Sounds like an official lockdown to me. And I was told by the school that it was because of an "incident" during lunch involving several different groups of kids. You too can find this stuff out if you ask the right people. Best of luck to your kids, and stay involved!


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.

(sigh) This isn't going anywhere. I'm not disregarding everything you've said, but I'm not accepting your perspective as the only one when others are many and varied, and not as tinged with anger as yours.

Sandy Castle

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1 a.m.

Perhaps you are involved in "keeping our students safe", I have no idea who you are, you hide behind a pseudonym. You might work for administration for all I know. Your kids are only part of the network needed to stay on top of what's happening at the school, if you're really interested in doing that. They are only in one lunch period, and these lunch periods are where most of the fights occur. And about the violence escalating. There are more fights. There was a fight resulting in a shooting, that resulted in a dance being cancelled. There was a fight resulting in a lockdown. If you don't think that adds up to an escalation in violence, then frankly, yes I do believe you have your head in the sand on this issue. Do you honestly believe this incident that occurred in the woods behind YHS didn't originate at the school? Do you believe that the alleged perpetrator didn't have the knife with him at school?

Sandy Castle

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 12:52 a.m.

It is easier to disregard what I've said, isn't it, than to believe that these things are happening around your kids and the people you should be able to trust at the school are not telling you what's happening? I sympathize with you on that one. It's hard work keeping track of it all. My point isn't that the school is responsible for the actual violence. My point is that by not being open and honest about them that they are promoting tolerance for it, and make no mistake the students are VERY aware of these things and how they are handled. Again, this happened four years ago when Dr. Hunt was the principal.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

For the ones who love Ypsi schools? Do you still love them even more after reading this? For the nay sayers who say that having charters are going to bring down school populations for the public education are really going to enroll their child in Ypsi hi? I seriously doubt you will see mine in this hi school any time soon. At 16 for the record? You can be tried as an adult which this child will be tried as and serve I hope a nice long sentence. Very sad to read another tragic life incarcerated.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 11:27 p.m.

@ypsilistener, I have been involved in this district for 13 years and that won't change. I pay taxes to support these schools, even though my kids no longer attend here. And I do understand, sometimes it's easier to NOT know what's really going on. As parents we have to keep each other informed. I believe it's important for all of us to know what's really happening at YHS. A robo call did go out about the dance being cancelled, but it didn't say that the Sheriff's Dept. advised that it be cancelled due to the shooting, not the fight. No robo call went out about the lockdown after a big fight. Fights are so common that calls do not go out when they occur either. As you can see from the article we're all commenting on, violence is escalating at the high school. I think as parents, and community members, we need to keep each other informed so childrens' safety isn't compromised.

Steve Pepple

Fri, Feb 4, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

A comment that contained a personal attack has been removed.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

When does the charter high school open.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

@Sandy Castle: According to several of your recent posts, your children no longer attend Ypsi schools, yet you speak quite authoritatively about current events at the schools. I hope YPS takes you off their phone list, and that you have re-enrolled your children through Milan, even if they attend YPS. YHS has its problems, but you have shifted your efforts from helping to solve the problems to making it your mission to bring the district down. You need to move on and quit spewing your venom. By the way, YHS families did, indeed, hear about the homecoming post-game fights, via administrative phone call. While it was their choice to cancel the dance, I'm not sure why you seem to be blaming them for the fights.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

The schools need the parents help to control these hormone raged children. If the parents and the schools work together it can be done. But when parents don't care, there's not much the school can do on their own. I wish YHS luck because I live in the same town as these children and their decisions affect my life and my community experience as well.

joe golder

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

The threads that make up the fabric of our society are very loose and unraveling. Whats happened to morality.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

Maria, somebody does need to monitor what goes on inside that school. The fights have increased AGAIN...they occur on a daily basis. Administration is in desperation mode and have shut down information getting out of the school. They have had lockdowns that they didn't inform parents about, a fight at a football game between Ypsi families that resulted in a shooting AND the homecoming dance being cancelled and they have never admitted to that one, but there is a police report about it. Administration isn't being forthcoming about these issues AND is not reporting them either. The kids aren't even allowed to take backpacks to school!! Perhaps it's time for metal detectors to be installed. This stabbing incident may have occurred OUTSIDE of the school, but it's naive to think it wasn't related to something at school. It's certainly frightening to think that this kid might have had a knife IN school before this incident occurred after school.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

The administration at Ypsilanti High School has no idea what is going on in the school or the classrooms let alone outside the school. Don't get caught with a plastic knife to cut a birthday cake, you will be expelled. The individual that did this stabbing will be let back in - especially if he can get out of jail before count day.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Stabbed in the back no less. That really proves you are a man.... Stay classy Ypsilanti.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

It didn't happen inside the school. It happened out in the woods.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

I don't know. Do you? He may have had it in school, he may have had it in his car, he may not have attended classes. The story does not tell us that information.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

but it was right after school. Did he have the knife materialize in his hand after he left school grounds?

Maria Peak

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Someone needs to monitor what is going on in that school.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

We need edged weapon control so this wont happen again. If there were laws not allowing sharp objects on school property, every criminal that wants to stab someone would have to beat them instead with a dull object because they wouldnt bring a knife to school...oh wait, there are laws against knives on school property so how could this have happened? I thought criminals always obey the "weapons" laws because thats what the libs say... and the reason gun control works...hmmmmm?


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 6:37 p.m.

In the state of Michigan you are an adult at the age of 17, so Silly Sally he is a man and will be charged as such.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Silly Sally is right. He certainly was not behaving like one and therefore doesn't deserve to be called a man. He may be tried as an adult. But that doesn't make him a man.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

This is such a shame. I hope this boy is prosecuted to the fulliest extent of the law. Im glad the female student is ok and recovering.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

17year old boy stabs 17year old girl. That's all-american values if I ever seen them. What was this kid thinking? Oh wait, that's right he wasn't thinking. What gives him the idea that stabbing another person let alone a female is an acceptable form of behavior? If there was ever any evidence that society is doing ok, you shouldn't look here.


Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

He was thinking enough to already have a knife.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Am I reading this correctly? " Investigators say the attacker left the scene, but was quickly apprehended at his Ypsilanti home without incident." Is this "reporter" announcing this person's guilt without a trial? If it was a commentor, that remark would violate user guidelines...or is this just another example of the "do what I say, not what I do..."?


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Wait an imaginary line between school and "regular" property and rules against weapons there didn't prevent this? How are we supposed to protect the children if people don't understand boundaries!


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Knives can be easily hidden and this happened in the woods. How do you suggest someone could have prevented this? Do our schools need to have metal detectors?


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Nice. It's bad enough when young men stab each other, now we hear of a young man stabbing a young woman. Very classy. I would hope that, if this is true, that expulsion along with criminal charges happen.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Chances are he'll be charged as a "MAN"…

Silly Sally

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

Shouldn't the title be "17 Year-Old BOY..."?


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.


Sandy Castle

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

It was a stabbing.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Ok. Thanks.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

It wasn't clearly stated in the first posting of the article. They updated it at 10 a.m. with the correct information.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

Isn't that clearly stated in the article?

Sandy Castle

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

According to the PACE call that went out last night both the victim and the perpetrator were Ypsilanti students.