Attendance down at Parker schools on first day after assault

UPDATE: A juvenile suspect was arrested late Thursday, March 23rd.

UPDATE: Parker Police Department Sergeant Michael Bailey tells Parker Live the department does not believe there is an active ongoing threat to students, and says there are school resource officers and patrol officers allocated to schools by both Parker P.D. and CRIT P.D. for security. “We don’t know the reason for this assault, but we have no reason to think it’s not an isolated incident,” he said.

Attendance is down Thursday at Parker Unified School District, according to District Superintendent Jim Lotts, but most parents have chosen to send their children to school as normal.

“We assumed that attendance would probably be poor,” Lotts told Parker Live Thursday. “And I think that’s going to be true. But everybody got to school safely, we had a heightened police presence to make sure that people felt safe, and I’m happy to say they are.”

A female was stabbed at around 6:30 pm on her second night on the job as a night custodian at Parker High School Tuesday. She was identified by Parker Police Department as Maria Salcedo and is reportedly in stable condition after being treated in Lake Havasu hospital for four puncture wounds in her neck. She is expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect is believed to be a student and has still not been identified or taken into custody.

“It is terrible, isn’t it? A very abnormal event that occurred,” Lotts said. “We certainly don’t think any of our students would be capable of a violent assault on another human being like this, but I suppose it’s possible. Law enforcement asked us if we would close [Wednesday] because it was still an active crime scene and they had some tasks they needed to complete and they could only do them in daylight. The other reason we closed was student safety.”

In response to Parker Live‘s questions about the decision of a minority of parents to keep their kids out of school Thursday, Lotts said he respects that and called it a “personal decision.”

“We’re trying to resume normal operations starting today,” he said. “We certainly would encourage parents to send their kids to school. If I thought there was any danger to kids, there’s no way in God’s green earth I would open these schools up. But I respect their decision and hopefully we can hear from law enforcement soon that the suspect is in custody.”

The school district has also changed some of the routines for night staff, including how the custodian crews work together:

“Until further notice they will not be working alone in classrooms, they’ll be working together in teams. All our principals will be telling our night custodian people they will not be alone while doing their work. This has never been an issue before in any way, shape or form and we’re looking forward to getting back to normal.”

Law enforcement are still appealing for information. Go HERE for more on that.

20 comments

  1. Jillian DeHollander

    Mine went back to school today although I was quite hesitant 😕

  2. Jillian DeHollander

    Mine went back to school today although I was quite hesitant 😕

  3. Check those absentee kids, I bet one of them is the juvenile in question

  4. Brandy Frew

    Mine went back only after I found out more police presence. Would be nice if the school district sent out something letting us know what they are going to do to tighten security until the suspect is caught.

  5. Brandy Frew

    Mine went back only after I found out more police presence. Would be nice if the school district sent out something letting us know what they are going to do to tighten security until the suspect is caught.

  6. Ashley Andrade

    Communication is key!!! I’m pretty sure if the community knew before hand that they tighten security, or something, alot more parents would have been willing to send them to school! Just saying!

  7. Ashley Andrade

    Communication is key!!! I’m pretty sure if the community knew before hand that they tighten security, or something, alot more parents would have been willing to send them to school! Just saying!

  8. Lisa Engel-Delancy

    Have they caught the attacker?

  9. Lisa Engel-Delancy

    Have they caught the attacker?

  10. Sometimes lack of communication helps too. Suspect does not think there will be extra security and the suspect returns to school and guess what? Schools will do best to make sure safety comes first. They only have so many resources to do that. They could have been told not to advise of the additional security by LE. Apparently schools can never do right for some….

  11. I wasn’t implying that the school wasn’t doing enough – I’m sure they are doing everything they can to protect the kids and staff. But honestly, I have to think of the safety of my child before considering tactics that may help catch this person.

  12. Michelle L Dahinden

    Good for the parents who are protecting their children!

  13. Michelle L Dahinden

    Good for the parents who are protecting their children!

  14. Kimberly Venegas

    Parents…. it might be a good idea if you get in contact with your child’s school secretary and make sure they have the correct information for your family. Such as correct phone numbers, correct address, correct parents names, etc.
    Also make sure you have your cell phone voicemail box set up and your inbox is empty. I have heard from around the community from several parents that some did and some did not receive the text about no school the other day so I asked about their voicemail and inbox and they did not have them set up or empty.
    We all need to come together as a small community and work together. I have read so many negative comments on different articles about the situation and it is very sad.
    Let’s all stick together people and it will be easier to get through this situation.
    I would like to say thank you to all of our police officers who have been working around the clock and also driving around our communities protecting us and keeping their eyes open. They do this anyway but I think we just do not pay attention.
    These are only my thoughts and concerns. Just saying.

  15. Kimberly Venegas

    Parents…. it might be a good idea if you get in contact with your child’s school secretary and make sure they have the correct information for your family. Such as correct phone numbers, correct address, correct parents names, etc.
    Also make sure you have your cell phone voicemail box set up and your inbox is empty. I have heard from around the community from several parents that some did and some did not receive the text about no school the other day so I asked about their voicemail and inbox and they did not have them set up or empty.
    We all need to come together as a small community and work together. I have read so many negative comments on different articles about the situation and it is very sad.
    Let’s all stick together people and it will be easier to get through this situation.
    I would like to say thank you to all of our police officers who have been working around the clock and also driving around our communities protecting us and keeping their eyes open. They do this anyway but I think we just do not pay attention.
    These are only my thoughts and concerns. Just saying.

  16. i’m surprised they can’t I.D.NOT TO MANY STUDENTS HAVE GREY EYES OR WAS IT A MISPRINT AND TO READ ”GREEN”

  17. Jody Allen

    How is it that they can’t identify who he is in such a small town if he’s a student???

  18. Jody Allen

    How is it that they can’t identify who he is in such a small town if he’s a student???

  19. B.j. Madewell

    I sent my child to school and I don’t think they should have cancelled school yesterday either (maybe the highschool for investigative purposes). School would have been the safest place for these kids, besides home, or running around town, like most of them were yesterday while their parents were at work. A once in a decade incident isn’t going to alter my judgement of how safe our schools are.

  20. B.j. Madewell

    I sent my child to school and I don’t think they should have cancelled school yesterday either (maybe the highschool for investigative purposes). School would have been the safest place for these kids, besides home, or running around town, like most of them were yesterday while their parents were at work. A once in a decade incident isn’t going to alter my judgement of how safe our schools are.

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