Pines Middle School teacher says teen was aiming at victim's chest before stabbing

Teacher, 2 students injured during fight

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A Pines Middle School teacher who was stabbed while trying to break up a fight between two girls spoke to Local 10 News on Monday.

"The only thing I thought about was trying to prevent something tragic from happening if I could," Dorthea Oatts said. "I really didn't think."

Oatts, 59, acted quickly when she saw the girls fighting Friday morning before class at the school at 200 Douglas Road. She said she knew something bad was going to happen before she and another student were stabbed.

"When I got closer to the student, I saw the scissors and I knew I had to intervene, otherwise it was going to be deadly, because she was aiming at her chest," Oatts said.

Oatts, a language arts teacher, had only been teaching at Pines Middle School for a year. She said she intercepted the scissors and was stabbed in her side -- a 4 1/2 inch-wound that needed nine stitches.

The 13-year-old girl accused of brandishing the weapon was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. Police said the fight originated over social media.

The other 13-year-old girl was stabbed in the shoulder and was taken to a local hospital, police said.

Oatts, a veteran teacher, said she is not angry at the girl who stabbed her, but hopes that she gets the help she needs. Oatts said this should be a warning to parents to be more vigilant.

"Get more involved in what your children are doing, what they're watching -- even on their cellphones. You know, pull that cellphone from time to time and see who they are contacting," she said.

Oatts said the students who were videotaping the fight without trying to stop it should think about what could have happened.

"It is not a time to be entertained, where you pull out a cellphone and say, 'Let me videotape this,'" Oatts said. "You are talking about somebody's life. If it's taken, they don't get it back."

Police said a 13-year-old boy, who also tried to break up the fight, was cut on his hand.

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