Schoolgirls set up brawl on Bebo

BY JANIE SMITH
Last updated 10:33 28/08/2009

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An Auckland schoolgirl is lucky to be alive after she was stabbed in the neck with a bottle during a fight with another girl last week.

The 15-year-old Auckland Girls Grammar student was involved in the fight with another girl, watched by about 50 others, at the Onehunga bus depot last Friday.

The girl was stabbed in the neck with a glass beer bottle and had cuts on her hands from defending herself.

The bottle could have hit a major artery, detective constable Mark Pickles says.

He says inquiries indicate the fight was prearranged and police believe the students used the social networking site Bebo and text messaging to set it up.

Mr Pickles says after the teen was stabbed, another girl tried to intervene and was cut on her leg with the bottle.

Police used pepper spray to break up the fight.

The girl who wielded the bottle has been arrested and was due to appear in the Youth Court this week charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police are considering another charge over the second girl’s injuries.

Mr Pickles says the majority of the pupils and on-lookers seemed to know what was taking place and why.

He says the schools involved played a vital role in prevention and intervention and as a result a number of students have been stood down from the various schools.

Inquiries are still proceeding and police have yet to decide if other people will be charged.

Auckland Girls Grammar principal Liz Thomson says she has spoken to a number of the girls who were at the fight.

She says the injured student is doing well.

"She’s having a few days off. She’s very lucky, she seems to be fine. Her family are very supportive. It could have had a really awful outcome."

Mr Thomson says it appears the incident was a one-off but has put some students off going near the depot.

Onehunga High School principal Deidre Shea wouldn’t comment on students, but said the school is aware of maintaining good safety and is working with the appropriate agencies.

Onehunga police senior sergeant Hirone Waretini says there were constant incidents of youth violence at the depot three years ago and police worked with the schools to reduce the number of students congregating there.

But he says violence between females is on the rise and the savagery of the latest fight is both a shock and concern.

Onehunga town manager Amanda Kinzett called a community meeting this morning between the area’s MPs, schools and police.

"We’ve been really fortunate, we’ve had nothing really happening in that area for ages.

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"We’ve had one incident and I’m not prepared to stand for it.

"Onehunga is doing really well and changing its reputation. These girls and their associates need to learn it’s not appropriate."

- Central Leader

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