HARTFORD, Conn. -- A 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death inside a Connecticut high school Friday, and police were investigating whether a boy attacked her because she turned down an invitation to be his date to a school dance.

Maren Sanchez was attacked in the hallway of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, about an hour's drive from New York City, at about 7:15 a.m. local time. Staff members and paramedics performed life-saving measures on the girl, but she was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.

The 16-year-old boy was charged with murder as a juvenile offender. Police said the suspect, whose name was not released, was being held Friday afternoon in police custody at a medical facility and could be charged later as an adult.

Sanchez, a junior, was in the National Honor Society and engaged in school activities, schools Superintendent Elizabeth Feser said. Students were released from school early, and officials were offering counselling services.

Students described an emotional, somewhat chaotic scene as police and paramedics swarmed the school.

Mello said Sanchez had a severe neck injury but did not describe the attack. He said police were looking into the reports involving the prom rejection.

Mello said town schools are very safe, despite not having metal detectors. He said police will be reviewing surveillance camera footage for evidence.

Janet Golden, Sarah and Rebecca's mother and a Milford alderman, said she rushed to the school to get her daughters. She said the stabbing most likely will result in more community discussions about school security, like those that were spurred by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December 2012.

A moment of silence was observed in Connecticut's House of Representatives for Sanchez, and students and town officials say her death was devastating to the community.