Aranui High School, Christchurch Knife Attack

Fences don’t have to be intimidating

Many times we’ve covered reports of armed invasions and violence in New Zealand’s schools but this is the first time we’ve heard of adult women storming into a school armed with a knife.

In a disturbing escalation of school violence, combined with a heightening of aggression in the nation’s young women, we hear that three women allegedly went into the Aranui high school in Christchurch and stabbed a 15-year-old pupil.

A report posted on Stuff today stated

    “The Aranui High School pupil suffered superficial cuts to her chest and legs during the knife attack last week.

Aranui community constable Barry Campbell said the alleged assault occurred just inside the school gate about 2pm last Thursday.

It wasn’t fellow students; it was allegedly people walking in off the street,” he said.

The incident was reported to police last Friday.” more here

But despite the nature of the attack the school principle said although it showed that people could easily wander into school grounds off the street

    “We don’t believe in having high fences and locked gates around the school,”

”We don’t want to be like those schools in America. Unfortunately, it’s a risk that all schools around the country face having undesirables come into the grounds.”

What has a knife attack in Christchurch got to do with school security in America? if children are at risk doesn’t the school have a duty of care to protect them? Fences may not present the correct image but they will keep the people within them safe.

Lois Dear

It’s not just the children that are at risk, teachers have also been attacked by intruders and there have been tragic consequences.

Lois Dear was brutally murdered and sexually assaulted in her classroom at Strathmore Primary School in Tokoroa.  23 year old Whetu Te Hiko pleaded guilty to her murder. He had 13 prior convictions, 8 of which were for assaulting women and children in 10 months,  from April 2004 to February 2005. His brother Hamuera was jailed for sexually violating and beating his wife to death in 2001. It is not known if the school improved its security after the attack.

For more about this widespread problem in New Zealand read posts tagged School Violence

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“Teacher Beaten Unconscious By Student June 15, 2011

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The Herald has published an account of a south Auckland schoolteacher who was beaten unconscious in a school corridor in Mangere at lunchtime last Friday.

Back in February we wrote about  Northern Irishman Roy Lilley, principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate ,who was attacked by a hammer wielding youth whilst he was at work on Waitangi Day. Read Belfast teacher encounters troubles in NZ.

Violent Crime in New Zealand’s Schools

There is a serious problem with violent crime in New Zealand’s schools, if you are coming to the country to teach, or you have school aged children you need to read the following. New Zealand isn’t the safe haven you believe it to be.

In March 2010  the Dom Post using the Official Information Act to obtain data on the number of school staff that received ACC funded treatment following an attack at school and put that together with Ministry of Education figures for 2008, to reveal that at least 777 teachers were assaulted whilst at work during 2008/9 (that’s without the figures for non-treatment assaults during 2009): more here

2 thoughts on “Aranui High School, Christchurch Knife Attack

  1. This is a typical attitude on the part of the Kiwis. It is frightening, as if they are all on some kind of rosy drug. They want their schools to “look a certain way” (“not fortresslike, “American”, with fences, etc.”) but it’s against all sane safety practices not to institute some protection for the children – this is not a “nice” or perfect society except in their own minds. Throwing the kids to the wolves for an “image”. They have a collective self-concept of New Zealand as being the anti-America, the example-nation of Romantic Naturalism (think Rousseau). Anything that does not fit the impression they want to project, and the identity they hold dear as “their own”, is simply cast aside, and reality be damned!

  2. The women drink like sailors here, too, not occasionally but as a lifestyle, in a way that would be frowned on where I come from (that is, they would be called drunks and told to get help where I come from if they did it that frequently and to that extent). I’d like to note that arson of schools is also a bizarre problem here. Christchurch had 3 school arson incidents earlier this year I believe. In the upscale small town we live in, there have been 2. This is quite rare where I come from (perhaps because the schools are better guarded and often made of brick?). Just google arson schools on Google and you will be surprised!

    Just this year, Christchurch, Bellevue, Rotorua, Tauranga, etc

    Spiralling cost of school arson attacks:

    It might make for a good focus piece for this excellent investigative website.

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