Youth slain in suburban Mass. school

April 14, 1993|By New York Times News Service

DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Clusters of students wept and hugged each other yesterday as they tried to come to terms with the violence of Monday morning, when three teen-agers armed with a baseball bat, a billy club and a buck knife burst into a high school social studies classroom and fatally stabbed a 16-year-old freshman.

Students were bewildered that the violence they associated with urban schools could have occurred at suburban Dartmouth High, which had always reflected stability and security.

"The kids keep saying, 'This happens in city schools, not here,' " said the school's principal, Donald King, who brought in a team of counselors to help restore calm.

The student who was killed, Jason Robinson, apparently was a bystander in a feud between two groups of teen-agers -- some of whom attended Dartmouth High School -- who had been trading insults and, police said, "calling each other's mothers names."

While Jason's American government teacher, James Murphy, wrestled the teen-ager with the baseball bat to the floor, another of the youths pulled out the knife and stabbed Jason in the stomach, according to Dartmouth police.

Moments later, Mr. King, who had raced from his office up two flights of stairs into the classroom, caught one of three teen-agers and grabbed the knife out of his pocket. The third teen-ager, who had fled down the hallways, was apprehended by a Spanish teacher.

The three teen-agers, all of whom have been charged with first-degree murder and related charges, are being held without bail at the Department of Youth Services.

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