By Jeannie DeAngelis
Another dead baby has been found at a school. This time the tiny person wasn’t found in a bathroom trash bin; instead, the deceased child was stuffed into a backpack and dropped off to the school nurse by its mother.
Apparently the woman who gave birth to the child is a student at urban Syracuse’s William Nottingham High School, where the school nurse, after checking inside a smelly backpack the girl asked her to look after, alerted police to what she found inside.
Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler said at a news conference that homicide has not been ruled out and that investigators are attempting to determine the baby’s age and cause of death.
According to the Syracuse Police Department, thus far, the investigation into the newborn’s death indicates that the child was not born at the school and died prior to being left in the nurse’s office.
“It’s not crystal clear to us what happened,” said Fowler. “We have an obligation at this point to find out exactly what occurred and that’s the purpose of our investigation.”
While the investigation is ongoing, Fowler said respecting the girl’s rights is important.
“We’re talking about the fact that a young lady who attends this school has given birth and we’re talking about the fact that this baby is deceased,” said Fowler. “This is a medical issue. So, it’s a very sensitive subject.”
District officials said that they understand how delicate the subject is. That’s why, in response, School Superintendent Sharon Contreras encouraged students facing similar situations to reach out for help.
Contreras said, “In every high school, we have family life committees. We help students who are pregnant and parenting, we help make appropriate referrals.”
The tragedy is that, in this case, the mother of the baby who dropped the backpack off in the nurses’ office for safe keeping never visited a family life committee, nor did she avail herself or her baby to an ‘appropriate referral.’
Editor’s note. This appeared at liveactionnews.org and is reprinted with permission.