16 Jun 2020

De La Salle students urged not to retaliate after brawl, stabbing

7:31 pm on 16 June 2020

An Auckland school is urging its students not to retaliate after a brawl left two teenagers with injuries - one of them with a stab wound.

De La Salle College in Mangere East.

De La Salle College in Mangere East. Photo: Google Maps

The fight on Friday afternoon involved students from two colleges - De La Salle and Tāmaki - and police have increased their presence in areas surrounding the two schools.

Police said their investigation was ongoing regarding a brawl outside De La Salle College in Māngere East on Friday afternoon.

Cellphone footage of the fight involving students from De La Salle and Tāmaki college was posted on social media.

De La Salle's Board of Trustees chair Falaniko Tominiko said two students believed to be 17 years old were injured but had since been discharged from hospital.

"They seem okay. We saw them yesterday and they are in good spirits. I guess it's the parents that are concerned. We're doing some work just to reassure the parents that the school is a safe place and their boys are safe."

Tominiko said about 100 old boys were on hand to support the students and remind them to stay out of trouble.

He said special assembly was held on Monday and the school just wanted a calm return to normal as quickly as possible.

"We reminded them that incidents like these is not in keeping with our school character. We're a Catholic school and you know, we abide by Christian values and it was just reminding the boys that whatever happened on Friday, it stays there. You know, we expect no one to retaliate."

Bill Peace works for social service provider Strive Community Trust, which operates in the school, and is also an old boy.

He was one of the mentors supporting the students and telling families about the support available to them.

"We're just providing supports to the children that were affected, whether it was directly or indirectly. Obviously a lot of young people were traumatised by what happened. So we're providing wraparound support to them and the families," he said.

Peace said it was sad what had happened but brawls between school students were not new.

He said social media may have played a negative role, stoking tensions.

"A lot of it's due to ... how they communicate through social media, and young men being young men and their testosterone and the adolcence of being proud of schools unfortunately gets caught up into that space."

Peace encouraged parents to keep an eye on how their children used social media.

Tāmaki College declined RNZ's request for comment.

Police appealed for more information, especially videos of the brawl.

There is an increased police presence in areas surrounding both colleges to prevent any further disorder from happening, and Tominiki said it's a temporary measure.