Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Schools in 'stay safe' plea after stabbings

HEADTEACHERS of two schools have sought to reassure parents after their pupils were involved in a double stabbing incident.

A 13-year-old girl was stabbed in the stomach and a 14-year-old girl suffered wounds to her shoulder and leg after a fight among a group of teenagers near the Rivermead leisure complex, off Richfield Avenue, Reading.

Teenagers from Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common and Highdown School in Emmer Green were present during the incident, which happened at 7.30pm on Wednesday last week. Some onlookers filmed it on their mobile phones. Police are investigating.

Moira Green, headteacher at Chiltern Edge, said: “Our first priority has been to support the students at school. We have held assemblies to talk to students about staying safe outside school and a counsellor has been on site to speak to anyone who needs extra support.

“We are concerned that some of our students are engaging in risky behaviour that could have dangerous consequences during the evening and at weekends and we have urged parents to have open and ongoing discussions with their children about keeping themselves safe.

“It has been an emotionally charged couple of days and it is a testament to the maturity of our students that they have sensitively supported one another.”

In a letter to parents, Highdown headteacher Rachel Cave said: “Some reports on social media have said that some Highdown students have been involved. There is truth in this and we are working with police to investigate, support and bring to account as appropriate.

“There are other school students and post-school age young people involved as well. We are working with other schools.”

Ms Cave praised her students who called police and gave first aid to the victims.

She added: “We are proud of their actions but question why they were present late in the evening outside.”

A police spokeswoman said both injured girls were taken to hospital where they remained in a stable condition.

Det Insp David Turton said: “I would like to appeal to anyone who has any information about this serious incident in which two teenage girls were injured to come forward and speak to police.

“I’m aware there has been footage of this incident circulating online and on social media. I would ask that anyone who has this footage considers the implications of sharing it. Instead please send this to police via witness.appeal@thamesvalley.

Anyone with information can call 101 quoting reference 43170333078.

• A 15-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and released pending investigation.

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