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School Yard Assaults Investigated

School Yard Assaults Investigated
New Zealand Police Wellington News Release
10:14am 16 January 2008

The Lower Hutt CIB is currently investigating a number of serious assaults which occurred at Hutt Valley High School during the end of Term Four, 2007.

A 14-year-old complainant and his mother made a complaint to Lower Hutt Police on 10 December alleging a serious assault had been committed by a group of six boys during lunchtime within the school grounds.

The offending group were all Year 9 students at Hutt Valley High School.

Detective Sergeant Brendan Mears, Lower Hutt CIB, said five boys aged 13 years will be referred to the Family Court. A 14-year-old boy will also appear in the Lower Hutt Youth Court in relation to the offending.

Assaults on other students are being investigated.

He said the complainant and his family have been traumatised by the attack.

"This attack was bullying in the extreme. A group of students have unfortunately developed a pack mentality in carrying out unprovoked assaults on other students."

Detective Sergeant Mears said investigators have worked closely with Youth Aid and Child Abuse Team officers. They have also drawn on help from Victim Support, medical experts, professional counsellors and Child Youth and Family.

"Police will be working closely with the school to ensure robust anti bullying strategies are in place," he said. "Officers will also visit other colleges in the Hutt Valley to reinforce anti bullying messages.

"All students and their families have the right to feel safe and secure within the school environment," he said.

Detective Sergeant Mears added that the rehabilitation of the boys involved in the attacks is also a priority.


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