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Elementary school bans pencil sharpeners after students exhibit concerning behaviors

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A Maryland elementary school placed a ban on pencil sharpeners after at least seven young students reportedly cut their wrists with the blades contained inside the sharpeners.

What are the details?

The reported incidents occurred at William Paca Elementary School in Hyattsville.

According to WTTG-TV, a concerned parent came forward March 29, and the school launched an investigation. The school announced the pencil sharpener ban that same day.

The school nurse met with all seven students, who apparently determined that none of the children's  injuries warranted a trip to the hospital.

The station reported that counselors also visited the school and spoke with the students.

School officials said that they notified all families of the children involved in the alleged incidents over spring break, which was April 2-6.

What did the district say?

Prince George's County Public Schools told WTTG, "The school's first priority was identifying students who may have engaged in this activity and contacting their parents to offer support. The investigation continued through spring break and after. The parents of seven students were contacted first to offer support."

"During the investigation," the statement continued, "messages were sent to all parents banning the use of handheld pencil sharpers [sic] as there are classroom pencil sharpeners available. The investigation has concluded. Today, a letter was sent to all parents informing them of the incidents, guidance lessons being taught in school, and counseling resources available if parents or students have concerns."

A school spokesperson declined to identify the children's ages or grade levels, according to The Associated Press.

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