The mother of a student at Hayden-McFadden School in New Bedford has hired a lawyer after she says her daughter was stabbed with a hypodermic needle on school grounds.

The claim stems from an incident on August 22, when Michelle Farland's six-year-old daughter came home from school and told her mother another child had poked her in the hand with a needle allegedly found on the playground earlier that day.

Farland tells WBSM News she accompanied her daughter to Hayden-McFadden the next morning to examine her hand. While at the school, Farland asked her daughter to identify which student had allegedly stabbed her. The daughter identified the male student, who denied any wrongdoing.

Farland then took her child to St. Luke's Hospital when she received a call from the school's principal, Tammy Morgan. "That's when the principal called me and told me in fact that the kid had admitted to stabbing her. But he believes it was with a stick and not a needle," said Farland. She says her daughter immediately told her otherwise. "We were actually at the hospital when that happened and my daughter was like, 'Mommy, it wasn't a stick. It was a needle.' The doctor was right there when she said it."

Farland provided WBSM News with a copy of the doctor's report, which listed the diagnosis as a "needlstick wound of finger." According to the report, the child was given a cocktail of antigens and antibodies to protect against HIV and Hepatitis, and Farland says her daughter is now on four medications. "She gets fevers from the medicine, has no appetite whatsoever, which is a huge issue because she has to eat in order to take her medicine. We have to go every week for blood work to make sure her organs aren't shutting down due to the medication because it could potentially destroy her liver."

Jonathan Carvalho, spokesperson for New Bedford Public Schools, says all evidence related to the incident points to the student being poked with a woodchip, and the school nurse had removed a splinter from the student's hand. Carvalho told WBSM News that calls to parents at Hayden-McFadden were made Monday by Principal Tammy Morgan, alerting them to the "rumors" surrounding the incident.

Carvalho says staff at Hayden-McFadden and other New Bedford schools take great care to check for and properly remove any foreign, hazardous items on school grounds before children arrive in the morning.

Farland says she has removed her children from New Bedford Public Schools, and has hired a lawyer to explore her legal options.

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