Another Knife Incident At Fairfield College, Hamilton

There has been another incident involving a knife at a school in Hamilton, this time two students at Fairfield College were mugged by group of 4 other teen students, assaulted with an umbrella and threatened with a knife.

Hamilton Police will be working with schools and the Ministry of Education to work out ways of minimising the risks in City schools following an incident at a college this morning. City Deployment Manager, Inspector Karen Henrikson, said officers were called to Bankwood Rd, outside Fairfield College shortly before 10am.

“It appears two boys, who are students at the school, were confronted by a group of four other students, all boys aged 14-15-years old. “Members of the group demanded cigarettes from the victims and when they said they didn’t have any they were punched the pair, assaulted with an umbrella and threatened with a knife by members of that group.”

Ms Henrikson said the victims were taken to the school nurse’s office while the offenders fled on foot to nearby Donny Park. “Responding located the offenders in the park who fled through bushes and a nearby gully that a stream flows through.

“The four offenders were caught and arrested by the City’s Tactical Response Unit and two 14-year-olds appeared in the Hamilton District Court today in relation to the incident.” A third youth was referred to Youth Aid follow up action while the fourth boy was interviewed and released without further action.

“With this incident following on from a similar incident at another school last month Police will be working closely with Ministry of Education officials and school principals to identify ways to reduce the risk of any reoccurance.” source

Last month a knife was allegedly brandished at the college when a 26 year old armed man went to the school after his younger brother came home and told him he’d been threatened.

Previously at the same school, two sisters were arrested after they allegedly attacked a Year 13 girl at the school last year. Other students chased the 17-year-old girl’s boyfriend with sticks as he came to her aid (source)

Other schools in the town have also had their share of violent and armed teens. A 15-year-old girl from Hamilton Girls’ High School was charged with assault and threatening to kill when she walked into a class room armed with a knife last month.

It’s not just Hamilton though that is having problems with kitted-out school kids looking for trouble.  Teacher Steve Hose was stabbed in the back and shoulder multiple times by a student at Te Puke High School, Bay of Plenty, also in May. Sadly, May was a bad month for school violence in New Zealand.

777 teachers were assaulted at work in New Zealand during 2008-2009. There were 1167 incidents of violence, including 51 grievous assaults last year across all educational institutions, including 14 of stabbing and cutting with a weapon (Statistics NZ) the rising violence is causing great concern among the teaching profession,

A little time ago Ross Brown, principal of Napier Boy’s High School said something that holds true for many schools and their communities in New Zealand. It related to a group of teens that were caught smoking cannabis at the school, but we think it applies to many of the problems youth are faced with in modern day New Zealand:

“schools are the litmus test for the community and unfortunately, we inherit its problems including incidents such as these, “It takes a village to raise a child and unfortunately in this case the village has let them down.”

But why is this happening? A total  breakdown in family life and support at home for young people, generations of parents with no parenting skills to pass on, poverty, widespread drug and alcohol abuse, a culture of brutality and mental health issues are all factors. For more read blogs:

NZ A Great Place to Raise Kids? Porirua’s Midnight Express

NZ Teachers Need More Power to Protect Themselves

Two More Teachers Assaulted In Tauranga

Bullying to Blame For Te Puke Teacher Stabbing

Kids in New Zealand – The Village Lets Them Down

“Poor” NZ Among Lowest In OECD For Education Spending

NZ Scores Second Worst in the World For Bullying in Schools