First-grader slashed in head by another student

Zahler Tillery, 7, says he was slashed in the head by another student at Hawthorne Avenue School in Newark.

Zahler Tillery, 7, says he was slashed in the head by another student at Hawthorne Avenue School in Newark. (5/6/15)

NEWARK - A Newark first-grader is recovering after being slashed on the head by another classmate with a box cutter.

Latoya Spruill says her son Zahler Tillery is in the first grade at Hawthorne Avenue School in Newark. She says her son was cut while the students were left alone by their teacher.

"The teacher left to make a phone call," says Spruill. "One of the students got a hold of a box cutter and cut [my son] across his head on the top."

The student apparently found the box cutter in the teacher’s desk. Zahler needed several stitches and staples in his head to repair the damage. He is expected to be OK.

"I don’t blame the little boy, maybe he needs help," says Spruill. "For the teacher to take a phone call and leave the kids unattended with no aide in the class? She needs to be more careful."

Spruill says she was told the little boy and the teacher have been suspended until further notice, but News 12 New Jersey has not been able to confirm that independently.

The Newark School District did confirm that Newark police and the Essex County Prosecutor’s office are investigating the situation.

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