TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Two 6-year-old girls were poked or scratched with a syringe by a classmate at a Tempe elementary school on Valentine’s Day, according to police.

One of the students at Scales Technology Academy suffered a slight abrasion to her left cheek, according to police. The other, identified by her mother as Faith Sappia, had a puncture wound on her back. Medical records show Faith suffered a "needle stick."

Amanda Sappia said there are signs the syringe was unsterile and had been used. She said it could take up to six months for blood testing to confirm if the needle stick transferred a disease.

“Being subject to a used needle, it's just scary. You don't know what that person had, if they had any contractible diseases or anything,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

Police said the incident happened around 1 p.m. Amanda said a 6-year-old boy poked her daughter during recess.

“As she was lining up, the student got behind her and stabbed her in the back,” she said.

The school nurse checked out both girls and contacted their parents.

Police said the boy found the syringe somewhere, but it’s not clear where the device came from.

School staff found the plastic plunger portion of the syringe but never found a needle. Paperwork from Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital shows doctors determine Faith suffered a “needle stick” injury. Her mother thinks the needle broke off after the attack.

Amanda said her daughter is now taking antiviral medication for hepatitis and HIV as a precaution.

“It's hard to have to give her HIV medication alone but having to watch my daughter choke it down twice a day for 30 days -- it's very, very hard,” she said.

A spokesperson for Tempe Elementary Schools declined to comment on the case, citing the ongoing police investigation.

“It's just a scary situation altogether. I don't think [school officials] handled it professionally at all,” Amanda said.

Amanda said she’s now trying to transfer her daughter to another school.

Meantime, she said her out-of-pocket medical costs are mounting. The HIV medication alone cost $1,400 and her daughter will require regular blood tests for six months, she said.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(8) comments


What kind of a syringe is it? When our kids were babies we had a bunch of them to give them medicine. They were not capable of having a needle inserted on them.

JF Conlon

Found a syringe "somewhere"? They're all around the valley. So are those glass pipe thingies. Don't wait for teachers or Officer Friendly to tell your kids not to pick them up.


As a parent to a student from this school, I want to know why I am founding out the information from the news instead of the school. Why were we not informed of this incident? What if other students cam in contact and did not tell anyone? How do we know what to talk to our children about if we are not informed? I am very concerned.


still trying to figure out how the school failed to handle it "professionally"...


Why would you need HIV medication this early? If so, school should pay (get a doctor to say you need it). Also, why would you publicize your kid's (or your) name on this. Don't you realize this is searchable for the next 1000 years?


Go read about possible HIV transmission and you might learn something....derp.


Schoolsfoolin, um, actually, I know a bit more than the avg person. I have first hand knowledge of needle prick at a hospital and the recommended follow up. Getting antiviral drugs into your body when you might not have something can actually do harm (depending on the drugs). So... before you call people names, why don't you answer my question?



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