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.

 


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