THE MORAY YOUTH COUNCIL is urging young people in the region to back a national campaign that is raising awareness on the consequences of carrying knives to school.
‘No Knives, Better Lives’ is a national initiative by Safer Scotland that seeks to provide information and support to young people, parents and teachers over the consequences of carrying knives.
Recognising the rising number of reported incidents in Moray, the Youth Council have moved to urge people in the region to visit the site.
Their call comes in the wake of reports that a pupil has been charged at Milne’s High School in Fochabers, a statement from the Youth Council read: “In light of the rising numbers of incidents in Moray schools involving knives, Moray Youth Council supports No Knives Better Lives and would like to remind everyone that it is a serious offence to carry a knife.
“If you know someone who is planning on taking a knife to school or college or see someone carrying one please report it to a teacher as soon as you possibly can!”
Meanwhile insideMoray readers reacted in horror to the Milne’s High School incident, with several taking to social media to report their own experiences.
Emma Jayne Glen told of her shock when her son had a pair of scissors held to his throat when attending school in Moray last year. She said: “The pupil involved was ‘dealt with’ but the school did not contact me to inform me what had happened.
“I learned about the incident from my son, and brought it up at a meeting at the school. All they said to me was that in hindsight they maybe should have contacted me.”
Another parent reported an incident at St Sylvester’s in Elgin – and criticised the school policy of forcing children to remain silent while eating lunch in the school.
Ann Baxter said: “St Sylvester’s had a knife incident last year where a pupil used threatening behaviour and was allowed back to school the following day. The school only informed parents when it hit the papers.
“Now the same school are forcing pupils into silence when eating their lunch, using ‘house points’ to blackmail them into said silence. This is a school, not a prison – children have rights and deserve to be treated like children, they did not enter a silent order when they walked through the doors.
“They are meant to be at school having fun, laughing and learning – not afraid and stressed.”
Councillor gets answers
Labour councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde, Sean Morton, contacted Milne’s High School after reading insideMoray’s report into the incident and later expressed his satisfaction that staff had done everything in their power to deal with the situation.
He established that the knife-carrying youth who had been charged by police was reported by another pupil – but not until four days after the incident had taken place.
Councillor Morton added: “A letter was also written by the Head Teacher, although there was a very slight delay in issuing this letter to parents due to on-going discussions with the Police.
“The school followed the Council’s policy on dangerous weapons and I have been assured by the Director of Education that the matter was well dealt with by the Head Teacher and her staff.
“I know that is not easy when it feels like you have been kept in the dark but given the delay in the incident being reported and the ongoing discussions with the Police, parents really were given all the information as quickly as possible.”