BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — One year ago, a teenager was stabbed ten times outside McKinley High School in Buffalo. It was a fury of violence that erupted after school, and it’s a day the teen’s mom will never forget.
“It was the most scary thing,” Aurielle Austin said.
Austin told News 4’s Kelsey Anderson she’s grateful her son Sirgio is alive.
“Sirgio made it out alive – (but) it could have been that bad, that he did not.”
On Feb. 9, 2022, Austin was picking up her two other kids from her mom’s house in Buffalo, when she got the news that something horrible happened at Sirgio’s school.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what happened after that. I kind of blacked out at that point,” she said.
Once at the hospital, she said she couldn’t see her son for about 12 hours. He was undergoing surgery to repair his punctured diaphragm, left kidney and colon from those stab wounds.
Twenty-one days later, he finally got to go home.
“He got out of the hospital 11 days before his birthday,” his mom said.
Sirgio stayed at home for the rest of the school year. He then transferred schools, and Aurielle said he feels much safer.
“I’m most impressed by the security,” she said.
But, the family’s lawyer argues, a mother shouldn’t have to worry about the security at her child’s school. Safety upgrades across all Buffalo Public Schools are the main reason for filing a lawsuit against the district and former superintendent, Dr. Kriner Cash.
“A parent sends their child to school and they hope they’re in a safe learning environment for eight hours a day,” said Kristen Elmore-Garcia of the Law Office of John V. Elmore P.C. “What we have found out since we filed the suit is that it has not necessarily gotten any safer. As you can see, there are recent incidents with fights in the schools. Our office is representing another child who was stabbed in the Buffalo Public Schools during the school day. … I don’t think enough change has happened.”
Elmore-Garcia hopes for compensation for Sirgio as well – a now 15-year-old who still can’t do everything he used to. His mom said he used to love football, but can’t play anymore.
“He just doesn’t trust his own body anymore to sustain a hit,” she said.
Sirgio loves playing with his two younger siblings, but now they have to worry about hugging him too tight. The zipper scar on his abdomen will forever be a reminder of the trauma he went through one year ago. The mental anguish is a daily fight.
“As a family we are still very much traumatized by that,” Austin said. “It is a daily struggle to overcome that fear that we all now live with the unknown, the impossible for us. But we’re working through it.”
A spokesman for the school district told News 4 they have no comment on the pending litigation.
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Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor who came back home to Buffalo in 2018. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.