The family of an 11-year-old Florida boy accused of bringing a butcher knife to school says the boy may have brought the knife to class to defend himself against bullies.
On Monday, officials at Inwood Elementary School in Winter Haven, Fla., called police at 9 a.m. to report that an 8 inch-long butcher knife had been discovered in a fifth-grade student's binder, Bay News 9 reported.
He was taken to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center, where police interviewed him, according to the report.
On Monday afternoon, the boy's family members revealed the child had been the target of school bullies, possibly because of his "gay tendencies," a tweet from an ABC Action News assignment editor suggests.
The family says school administrators were notified about the bullying, but no action was taken, according to ABC Action News. However, there are no records of this claim, Capt. David Brannan of Winter Haven police told the station.
"Right now, he's charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds," Brannan told Fox13 Tampa Bay. "It's a third-degree felony and that would be for any person, whether they're a student, an adult on campus, or anything."
Fox13 also reached out to the boy's parents. His mother said that her son is a good child.
The bullying of gay children and teens has been a prominent issue since the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old Buffalo teen who made international headlines and spurred celebrities like Lady Gaga to champion anti-bullying campaigns.
However, it should be noted that this recent incident is still under investigation.