Former Employee Stabs Current Employee at Barrack Day School


The stabbing occurred as students at the pluralistic day school in Bryn Mawr were in classes. The suspect was taken into custody.

A former employee stabbed a current employee Monday morning at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy.

The stabbing occurred while students were in class at the pluralistic Jewish day school in Bryn Mawr. The former kitchen employee repeatedly stabbed the victim, Sherman Brunson, also a kitchen employee, and threw bleach in his face. Brunson was treated for non-life-threatenings injuries and released from the hospital.

The police learned that the suspect, whose name has not yet been released, boarded a SEPTA trolley at the Norristown stop, according to the Radnor township police department. Officers then entered the trolley at the Township Line stop and arrested the suspect who had also been injured. He was treated at a hospital and released into Radnor police custody.

The former employee was able to enter the school because a technology support services provider recognized him and allowed him into the building through the bus entrance, according to a letter from the school. The school followed its lock down procedures, and no one else was injured. The employee who allowed the suspect to enter the building has been released of duties at the school because she was "aware of our security protocols and under no circumstances are students or staff permitted to let someone in who does not have a school ID," the letter states.

The school, which serves grade six through 12, has had a spate of bad news recently. In November 2014, the school sent students home after a security officer discovered a bag of ammunition; no was injured in that incident. Earlier this month, the school fired a basketball coach after learning that he had been arrested twice for allegedly selling marijuana. The school, according to its principal, first learned of the arrests because the coach testified during a highly-publicized trial involving six former Philadelphia police narcotics officers accused of stealing money and drugs from the suspects they arrested.

Even before this latest incident, school leaders had already been assessing its security and had discussing hiring an outside firm, according to Barrack director of operations Alex Stroker.

The school plans to hold meetings with staff, parents and students over the next week to discuss security, said head of school Sharon Levin. She said she has heard an “extremely positive” response from parents. The suspect had worked for the food service provider at Barrack in the past but was not employed at the school this year, Levin said. She said the attack resulted from a person dispute.

Sherman works in the dining commons and is popular among students, who were “thrilled that he’s doing well,” after the attack, said Levin.

“I’m very proud of the way the entire school community reacted in this situation,” said Levin. “We have a very stringent lockdown procedure and everyone followed it to a tee.”

She said she did not see any link between the recent stories about Barrack.

“This was an absolutely isolated incident,” Levin said.

Jared Gordon, a parent of three students at Barrack, also said he did not see a larger problem in the way Barrack operates.

“Each of these incidents is so unique,” said Gordon. “Is it it bad luck? Yeah, toss it up to bad luck.”


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