Five suspended after violent attack

More weapons used in school fights

LATEST: An Auckland secondary school today suspended five students after an attack on a pupil at another school.

The victim, a 14-year-old boy, was beaten up at Lynfield College on Monday by a group armed with a softball bat.

Lynfield College yesterday suspended one of its own students, who led the group of eight teenagers to the classroom where the incident took place.

Nearby Mt Roskill Grammar School today said five of its students had been suspended as a result of the assault.

The five would appear before the school’s board of trustees next week, principal Greg Watson said in a statement.

The board would decide whether the boys would be excluded or allowed back to school under certain conditions.

All eight in the group are also being dealt with by police, although police have said they will not face criminal charges.

Police are also investigating an incident in Porirua in which about 20 boys, believed to be from Mana College, went to Bishop Viard College and threatened students on the rugby field.

They were believed to be armed with a baseball bat.

Meanwhile, Secondary Schools Principals Association president Peter Gall said anecdotal evidence of an increase in school-related incidents involving weapons was a cause of real concern.

“It could be a baseball bat, a cricket wicket, an iron bar, a hammer, a screwdriver,” he said.

Mr Gall, principal of Papatoetoe High School in south Auckland, said people carrying such items, when questioned, would reply that they did so for their own protection.

“Well, that’s nonsense,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, they don’t need that sort of protection – ever.”

Mr Gall said his own school had been troubled by a youth gang that was “obviously working in a planned and co-ordinated way” in targeting students on their way home.

“They had hammers and stuff, and they were pinching cellphones off kids,” he said.

“We got some good information to the police and they made four arrests and that cleaned that up pretty quickly, but the fact that it happened is a real concern.”

He said the issue was a difficult one for schools to address and they had to be “incredibly security conscious”.

Staff had to be active while on duty and management relied on students to pass on any information about unusual activity.