Red Bank Police expected to consult with officials from the Monmouth County Prosecutor‘s office today about whether any charges should be brought in a case in which a middle school student brought a knife to school last month, Capt. Steve McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

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A decision was not expected immediately, says McCarthy, who heads the detective bureau.

McCarthy says police were summoned to the school on January 22 after administrators recovered a pocket knife from a student.

The knife had been carried into the school by another student, police and school officials say.

McCarthy says the information police have gathered suggests that the knife was not used to threaten or intimidate anyone in the school.

“The knife had not been used or displayed,” he says. It appears the knife had been handed one child to another, he says.

“There were multiple students involved here,” McCarthy says. “One brought it to school. Friends took it from him because they didn’t want him to get in trouble.”

Because those involved are minors, both McCarthy and schools superintendent Laura Morana declined to be specific about aspects of the case.

But according to Morana, the student who brought the knife did so to protect himself from a perceived threat outside the school.

“His actions reflected poor judgment in terms of how he thought he needed to address a problem he thought he would have to deal with outside of the school,” she says.

But “there was no specific event that we are aware of” that precipitated the boy’s decision, she adds.

Morana says she has heard about, but not read, chatter on redbankgreen suggesting a possible gang link to the incident.

“I’m not aware of any evidence of gangs in our schools,” she says, noting that administrators and other school personnel have taken mandatory training in identifying and responding to such signs.

At least three students have been suspended as a result of the incident, Morana says.

In addition, administrators have reached out to the families of the children involved, and have taken steps to underscore to all students “that we’re not tolerating this type of behavior,” she says.

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