Parents concerned about needles near school

Posted at 11:42 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 06:02:53-04

Parents of students at Holabird Academy said they're concerned that children are picking up used hypodermic needles around the school and bringing them to class.

Jessica Pfister and Angel Mondshour's six-year-old daughter was nearly stuck with a needle found by another student.

"Earlier in the school year, we were standing out front waiting to go into school. The child in front of her pulled out a hypodermic needle out of his pocket, pulled the cap off, turned around to her and said, 'who wants to go first'" Pfister said.   

Fortunately, her and a teacher were standing nearby and stepped in before anyone was injured, but she said that hasn't always been the case.

“This is not the first time. There's been two other incidents where two children were actually stabbed and now are undergoing HIV testing every six months,” Pfister said.

Baltimore City Schools has not yet confirmed these two incidents. They did however, send out a letter several months ago that included a warning about debris around the school, according to parents.

“It was just stating that there is debris in the neighborhood that they're going to try and do something but nothing has been done,” Pfister said.

When ABC2 News crews went to Holabird Academy they found a needle on the street adjacent to the school. Another parent said she too has seen them on the walking path to school.

“I was walking down, I came to pick him up and I found one over there. That was like two weeks ago,” said Grersy Ordonez, whose 7-year-old son attends Holabird Academy.

Parents said they understand the school is not able to control needles being left out in the open, but they would like to see more awareness and education about the topic.

“We get letters about fundraisers, why not about safety, health issues?,” said Na'Tausha Brown, whose daughter attends Holabird Academy.

“These parents need to be aware of their kids walking to school and what they're picking up. It's not safe for them to be picking these up,” said Mondshour.

She added as a parent it was particularly alarming to hear about the close encounter involving her daughter. Her biggest concern was that her daughter could've been exposed to a disease if she had been jabbed with the needle.

“I just hope that Baltimore City Schools do something about this. This is a serious issue, and what happens if one of the kids gets AIDS because of another child's actions, because some junkie left a needle laying around for a kid to get?,” said Pfister.

ABC2 News is awaiting comment from Baltimore City Public Schools about measures the school is taking to inform parents and educate students.

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