11-year-old critical after school stabbing

LAURA WALTERS, MICHAEL FIELD AND ANNA LOREN
Last updated 10:19 25/06/2014
DANIEL GALVIN/stuff.co.nz

A young boy is fighting for his life after being stabbed by another student at school in South Auckland.

Stabbing investigation
FAIRFAX NZ
INVESTIGATION: Police at Pacific Christian School where an 11-year-old boy was stabbed in the head. They say their inquiry could take some time. 

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Child Youth and Family are working with police over an 11-year-old boy believed to be involved in yesterday's school stabbing in Auckland.

Another boy, also 11, remained in a critical but stable condition at Auckland Hospital this morning following the incident. Police said he had a head injury but would not go into details about the injury or how it was caused.

Police said they had a good understanding of what happened and the investigation focus over the coming days was to complete interviews with the children in the classroom when the incident occurred.

Due to their ages they would require specialist interviewing capability and support.

Police would complete the scene examination at the school today and the scene would be released back to the school as soon as possible.

Pacific Christian School manager Lisita Paongo stood outside the school this morning, talking to parents and students as they arrived.

Paongo said she was there to "welcome" and "reassure" parents and students.

Silia Tauaika was the aunt of two students at the school.

She said the school had no nurse and this made her worry.

"We're still finding out what's happening. I am a bit concerned."

Parent Ofa Manu said she was not worried about her child's safety after what happened.

"I know the school and I know the community."

Manu said she was surprised by the incident.

"I'm just happy that my kid's safe."

A man who said his wife worked at Pacific Christian School said the students were "good children".

"With children anything is possible," he said.

Police say the first incident followed a fight between two boys - both aged 11 - at the privately owned Pacific Christian School in Mangere at 11.30am.

The school has about 90 primary and intermediate age pupils, mostly members of the Tongan Tokaikolo Church in Coronation Rd.

Police officer Shawn Rutene was unable to give details of the injuries to the boy and could not confirm that scissors had been used in the incident.

Families of both boys were interviewed. "We can't explain at this stage exactly what's happened," he said.

Police expect a long inquiry. "There's quite a lot of info to be gathered."

Later in the afternoon, about a kilometre away across the southwestern motorway, police were called to what they said was an unrelated altercation near Southern Cross Campus in Wickman Way.

Police said a group of youths had a fight and witnesses said that at one point a knife was used.

"We transported two - one in serious condition and one minor - and they've gone to Middlemore Hospital," said Robbie Walker of St John northern region.

Senior Sergeant Dave Glossop confirmed one person had been stabbed. "It was a melee. We don't know what the weapon was."

The injuries the two youths received were not life-threatening and the police response had been "de-escalated", he said. "It's not connected in any way to the stabbing earlier . . . it's just what we deal with on a day-to-day basis."

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A scene investigation and witness interviews were taking place.

A specialist team from the Ministry of Education has gone to Pacific Christian School to begin providing support.

"We support schools following serious incidents and provide guidance to senior school leaders to help them restore day-to-day routines as quickly as possible," head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said.

A 2012 Education Review Office report identified some concerns with the school.

It said risk management systems for taking pupils off the premises needed to be addressed and more robust systems for managing hazards were needed. At the time, no staff had a first aid certificate.

- Stuff

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