PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida teacher on Monday said she put her body between two girls fighting because one was trying to stab the other in the chest with scissors.
Dorthea Oatts still cringes with discomfort when she moves her left side, where she was stabbed while trying to break up a fight at Pines Middle School. Oatts sustained the stab wound underneath her arm, Friday, when she put herself between one girl with scissors and the girl in danger of being stabbed.
“It just happened so fast,” she said. “They were arguing, and I walked over there ’cause I heard the loud yelling and screaming.”
A text message dispute between the two 13-year-olds had escalated into a fight at the school, early Friday morning.
“I went over, and that’s when I saw the two girls struggling, and then the one girl with the object in her hand, headed toward the other,” Oatts, a language arts teacher, said.
Students were on their way to first period when the fight broke out.
“It happened in the common area, in the hallway,” said student Rahmir Nappier. “She was trying to stab her in the face, chest and cheek.”
Oatts said she thought about the family of the girl being targeted with the scissors.
“I thought about, ‘This is someone’s child. They could be seriously injured, and I just went in to try to block it as best I could,” she said. “I saw where she was headed with the scissors, directly at her chest.”
The girl stabbed Oatts under her arm, and then stabbed her intended target, injuring the girl in the shoulder rather than the chest.
“She had took it out of her pocket when she started hitting her, and she stabbed her right here,” Nae Pinja, a student, said, pointing to her shoulder.
Oatts’ son-in-law, Jason Vanderpool, traveled from Orlando to South Florida with her grandson when he heard the news.
“My heart sunk,” he said. “I am worried about how she feels going back there.”
But Oatts said she wants to be back in the classroom to teach.
“Right now, I think about my kids because that’s my first love,” Oatts said. “I plan to go back at some point. I don’t know what my feelings will be.”
Oatts received some stitches for her wound.
The 13-year-old suspect is being held at the juvenile assessment center.
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