‘Violence will not be tolerated in our schools’

Sowerby Bridge High School
Sowerby Bridge High School

A second police investigation has been launced into a school brawl less than two weeks after another incident when a knife was found a student.

An investigation has been launched into a fighet involving a number of students aged between 14 and 16-years-old outside Sowerby High School on Wednesday May 4, around 3.15pm.

Acting Chief Inspector John Simpson of the Valleys Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Incidents such as this are thankfully rare in the district.

“We are working closely with the school to provide support and reassurance to staff, students and the community.

“Officers will be speaking to those believed to be involved. Our enquiries are at an early stage and are continuing. I would ask for anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has any information to come forward.”

Sowerby Bridge High School has issued a statement saying: “We are aware that an incident took place outside the school on Wednesday evening.

“We take the safety of all our young people very seriously and we are working with the police to investigate.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information is asked to contact PC Dave Mayhew at Calder Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team via 101.

It is the second time police officers were called to a Calderdale school after teachers broke up a fight at Lightcliffe Academy on April 22 and found a small knife on one of the pupils.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Megan Swift said: “We are supporting the school and the Police with their investigation.

“As you’d expect, we take the safety of all our young people very seriously.

“We do not tolerate violent behaviour or bullying of any kind in our schools and we know that our head teachers take any reports made to them very seriously.

“Every school has a clear anti-bullying policy and all reports are investigated thoroughly, working closely with parents. We encourage any child with concerns to report them to their school – someone will always be there to provide support.”

James Wilson, Division Secretary of the Calderdale NUT added: “Sadly, even in the best run schools, fights do sometimes happen. It is important that they are dealt with appropriately and as swiftly as possible, involving the police if necessary.

“This is one of the reasons why it is vital to have well trained and qualified teachers in schools, which, sadly is a requirement the current Government intends to abolish.

“We have an active union membership and rep in at Sowerby Bridge High School who have every confidence with the way the school have handled the incident.

“Calderdale NUT will always support schools in taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety of our members, and the students they teach.”