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Range of weapons used by school pupils laid bare

26 Dec 2014

Mary Scanlon MSP

Scissors, guns and even a set of maracas were brandished by pupils as weapons in Scotland’s schools over the past two years, research has revealed.

The number of incidents involving a weapon increased slightly last year, up to 181 from 174 in 2012/13.

Dangerous items confiscated after pupils either used or threatened to use them included pen knives, stones, pool cues, a hack saw and a tree branch.

The figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information also included a range of bizarre items.

They included an electric shock lighter, a bamboo cane, a jumbo magnet, pieces of Lego, and “a selection of Mr Men toys”.

Some of the items were confiscated in nurseries and from primary one pupils, while more of the serious weapons were removed from youngsters up to the age of 17.

And with some councils not holding the exact information, the true figure is likely to be even higher.

Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Mary Scanlon said:

“This is a shocking list of weapons, ranging from the very dangerous to the ridiculous.

“Parents will be extremely concerned to read some of the examples set out here, not least those weapons that can cause serious and even fatal injury.

“Teachers should not have to work in this kind of environment, and many of these incidents will have been disruptive not just to individual pupils, but entire classrooms.

“We need to make sure those capable of getting their hands on such dangerous items are taken out the classroom for the safety and welfare of other children who just want to learn.

“I hope the Scottish Government keeps a close eye on these examples and ensures the trend begins to move downwards in future years.”

Notes to editors:
Below is a table setting out the numbers from the last two years and some examples from across Scotland. For full copies of the FoI responses contact the Scottish Conservative press office.
 

 

2012/13

Notes

2013/14

Notes

Aberdeen City

87

Examples include bamboo cane, jumbo magnet, large magnetic letters, Lego, maracas and pellet gun

112

Examples include branch of a tree, large plank of wood with nail, and selection of Mr Men toys

Aberdeenshire

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

Angus

14

Two P3s with scissors, one P3 with a stone, seven P6s – stones, sticks and stones, wood, scissors x 2, litter picket, metal pole, iron bar, one P7 with scissors, one S1 with a vegetable knife, one S3 with a stone

2

Two P5s with knifes

Argyll & Bute

21

17 in primary, 4 in secondary school

19

16 in primary, 1 in secondary, and 2 in learning centres.

Clackmannanshire

n/a

 

n/a

 

Dumfries & Galloway

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

Dundee City

5

Metal scraper, BB gun, improvised weapons x 3

5

Metal pole, large tree branch, electric shock lighter, knife, craft knife

East Ayrshire

n/a

 

n/a

 

East Dunbartonshire

n/a

 

n/a

 

East Lothian

3

Swiss style knife, laser pen, knife

0

N/A

East Renfrewshire

n/a

 

n/a

 

Edinburgh City

3

All primary school

1

Primary school

Eilean Siar

1

Army pen knife

0

N/A

Falkirk

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

Fife

4

Kitchen knife, pen knife, sharpened piece of metal, lighter

12

BBN gun, blade, kitchen knife, hacksaw, knife x 2, laser pen, pencil sharpener blades x 3

Glasgow City

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

Highland

n/a

 

n/a

 

Inverclyde

0

N/A

2

Secondary school – pen knife, craft knife

Midlothian

4

Two P4, one P5, one S1

13

Two P3, one P4, one P5, four S1s, one S2, one S3, two S4, one S5

Moray

3

Knifes – pupils aged 6 and 13, BB gun – pupil aged 13

6

Knifes – pupils aged 6, 9, 3 aged 14, BB gun – pupil aged 15

North Ayrshire

5

Tin pickers – pupil aged 13, scissors – pupil aged 13, knife – 3 pupils aged 12, 13, and 14

1

Pool cue – pupil aged 14

North Lanarkshire

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

Orkney Islands

0

N/A

0

N/A

Perth & Kinross

N/A

Refused

0

N/A

Renfrewshire

18

N/A

13

N/A

Scottish Borders

1

Craft knife – pupil in S3

2

Scalpel blade – pupil aged 12, craft knife, pupil aged 13

Shetland Island

0

N/A

0

N/A

South Ayrshire

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

South Lanarkshire

N/A

Refused

N/A

Refused

Stirling

5

N/A

4

N/A

West Dunbartonshire

n/a

 

n/a

 

West Lothian

n/a

 

n/a

 

Scotland total 2012/13 – 174
Scotland total 2013/14 – 181