13 May 2010

Girl arrested after knife incident at Hamiton school

6:17 pm on 13 May 2010

A 15-year-old girl has been arrested after allegedly threatening other students with a knife at Hamilton Girls' High School.

Police say that following an earlier disagreement, a pupil brought knives to school and menaced other students.

Those students alerted staff and a female teacher was able to persuade the girl to surrender a knife.

Police were called to the school just before lunchtime on Thursday and found it in lockdown mode, the standard procedure for schools dealing with serious incidents which allows them to account for all pupils.

Although no one was injured, police are treating the incident very seriously and are interviewing the girl at the Hamilton police station.

Principal Mary-Anne Baxter says the year 11 girl walked into a classroom with a steak knife looking for some other students, but staff intervened before anyone was hurt.

Mrs Baxter told Checkpoint the girl had other knives in her bag, but only had one out. She says the girl told her she was angry about things that some other students had allegedly been saying.

It is the second incident this week involving a student with a knife. On Monday a maths teacher at Te Puke High School in the Bay of Plenty was stabbed in his classroom. A 13-year-old student is in the care of Child, Youth and Family

Mrs Baxter says the week's events highlight the need for urgent action on how to stop young people from being violent.

"It is really critical that there is a real debate about what's happening in our society that has our young people responding so violently to situations where they feel that they are angry."

The 15-year-old has been suspended to ensure the safety of staff and students, Mrs Baxter says.