A security guard at the school and her husband have confirmed to the press that racial taunting and bullying may have been factors that led to a girl bringing a knife into school and threatening people. The security guard had taken time off work following the incident and was said to be distraught because the girl had been bullied over her family. It is thought that the girl was an immigrant from Iraq whose father had died recently.
For the background to this story and an account of New Zealand’s appalling record of bullying and “culture of brutality” please see our blog entry “Knife incident at Hamilton Girls’ High School linked to bullying”
“A Hamilton Girls’ High School pupil who allegedly chased another girl with a knife may have been the victim of race-based taunting by a group of Indian students.
Stephen Hawkins, whose wife Linda is a security guard at the school, said the alleged taunting had been simmering for some time and his wife had feared tensions would escalate.
“It was a race-based kind of stand-off involving (a group of) Indian girls.”
The school went into lockdown for 15 minutes just after 11am on Thursday after a 15-year-old student chased another pupil with a knife.
Mr Hawkins said the girl was found with three knives in her possession which she had bought from The Warehouse during the morning break.
The Year 11 pupil was arrested by police.
The girl appeared in Hamilton Youth Court yesterday on charges of assault and threatening to kill.
Mr Hawkins said the girl bought the knives during morning break after a confrontation earlier between a group of her friends and a group of Indian girls.
“This girl that had the knife had been bullied by the girls,” he said.
“It had been coming for some time and my wife thought that something would happen,” Mr Hawkins said.
He praised both the actions of the school and his wife, who had calmed the girl down and recovered a third knife from her before taking her to the principal’s office and sitting with her while waiting for police.
Mrs Hawkins had felt the effects of the incident, he said and had taken yesterday off work.
She was distraught because the student had allegedly been bullied over her family.
Mr Hawkins said he that felt for the accused student but did not condone her actions.”
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