PARENTS OF SCHOOL age children are receiving letters from Moray Council reassuring them of measures taking place to keep young people safe in the light of recent incidents involving weapons in schools.
The move is part of a joint action by Directors of Education in Moray and Aberdeenshire, who have been working in partnership with Police Scotland – who have confirmed that there has been several incidents of knives being taken to schools including in Buckie, Keith and Elgin.
In the letter parents are being reassured of the commitment that exists on working collectively to reduce such incidents.
Moray Council’s Corporate Director of Education and Social Care, Laurence Findlay, explained: “In Moray we have been pro-active in developing anti-bullying actions, working with organisations such as Respect Me, and we continue to work on measures to prevent, identify and deal with bullying behaviour in schools.
“We must work together to keep young people and staff safe from harm.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services Maria Walker, added: “Our aim is to work with partners and parents to ensure we all keep our young people, as well as our staff, as safe as possible.
“It is in all of our interests to keep people safe from harm and education authorities will continue to review current practices and procedures to ensure our combined actions help to reduce incidents.
“Extensive work has taken place across the area to roll out anti-bullying measures and we also work closely with Police Scotland on campaigns to tackle anti-social behaviour and mitigate offensive actions.
“These incidents are rare and please be assured that when they do occur, action is taken to deal with them swiftly and appropriately.”
Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson, who is the Division Commander for Aberdeenshire and Moray, said that the force had very recently been called to six incidents at secondary schools in Elgin, Buckie and Keith in Moray and Turriff, Alford and Inverurie in Aberdeenshire. These involved knives being recovered and seven school pupils being reported.
He added: “Thankfully no one has been injured and all incidents were brought to our attention by school staff.
“We have very positive relationships with all schools in our area and will continue to work with them and our partners to ensure we promote a safe learning environment and raise awareness of the dangers of such behaviour.
“Let me make it absolutely clear that carrying a knife or any other potential weapon into a school is against the law and anyone caught doing this will be robustly dealt with.
“The safety and well-being of all of our young people and staff is absolutely paramount.
“Anyone with any information regarding instances of this kind should contact the school in the first instance or in an emergency the police.”
All schools have comprehensive policies to ensure young people or parents can talk to staff about any issues which may be of concern and Police Scotland can also provide support.