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Six knives confiscated in Shetland schools

| Written by Shetland News

SIX children were found with knives in their bags at schools in Shetland over a six-month period last year.

The items ranged from a clay modelling knife to a kitchen knife. Five of the pupils involved were excluded from their school.

The spate of knife-carrying took place between January and June 2016, just months after the fatal stabbing of Bailey Gwynne in an Aberdeen school in October 2015.

Audrey Edwards, executive manager at the council's education department, said that the safety and wellbeing of children in schools was "always our highest priority".

The incidents are the only knife-related confiscations in Shetland schools over the last ten years.

None of the items were brandished but three of the incidents saw the police get involved.

In January 2016, a male brought a knife to school in his bag, while in February a girl took a clay modelling knife.

In March a boy had a multi knife in his bag and another school kid took a kitchen knife. In June two other males took knives to school.

The data was revealed as part of a freedom of information request from the Press and Journal to local authorities in the north of Scotland.

Details regarding the schools involved were not given out in an effort to protect the identity of the children.

The figures also show that a boy was given detention in September 2014 for bringing a pellet gun to a school in Shetland.

Education official Edwards said Shetland's school staff have been advised how to deal with weapons being taken into school.

"Schools have been given clear advice as to how to treat any situation where a pupil is found to be in possession of a knife on school premises," she said.

Police chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch said: "We work closely with partner agencies, including colleagues in education, to highlight the dangers of offensive weapons and our officers regularly visit local schools to provide inputs to children."

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott added there is "no justification whatsoever" for anyone taking these kinds of items to school.

"No-one should be carrying a knife to any Shetland school," he said.

"I know schools will be handling this sensibly as it's a serious issue that must be addressed."

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