BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An alleged stabbing outside Riverside High School this week continued a trend of violence at high schools in Buffalo, teachers and community leaders said.

On Thursday morning, 19-year-old Makai Cook was arraigned on several charges, including assault, after he allegedly stabbed an 18-year-old bystander in the face with a box cutter during a large fight shortly after dismissal on Wednesday.

Photo: Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Thursday that he believes the incident was gang-related, beginning inside the school and ended up outside on the front lawn.

The district maintains that the weapon used in the stabbing did not enter the building. They declined commenting on if Cook was in the building before the fight, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

Riverside High School peacekeeper Carlanda Meadors says that overall violence at schools has decreased, but there are still major problems that need to be addressed with young people.

“We have young people that have situations that transpire outside of the school, has nothing to do with inside of the school. And we have students that are transferred from other schools and they have problems with students,” Meadors said. “You put them all in one place, something is bound to happen.”

A teacher from Riverside told News 4 that fights are extremely common, but most go unreported to the public. Last Friday there were three fights where students and teachers were injured, the teacher said, adding that on Thursday morning, there was another brawl in the security office.

Buffalo Public Schools would not provide an interview to News 4, but released a statement saying that fighting will not be tolerated and discipline is being issued per the district’s code of conduct.

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Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.