13-year-old student arrested over incident with a knife at a school in Plymouth
POLICE were called to a city school after staff reported a 13-year-old pupil was allegedly holding a knife in a classroom.
A child was subsequently arrested at Marine Academy Plymouth in Kings Tamerton.
A boy was last night charged with possessing a bladed article on school premises.
The incident happened yesterday morning during a science lesson.
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During the alert at the school officers were authorised to use a Taser but did not need to deploy the weapon, police confirmed.
Authorisation to use a Taser is common practice when police are requested to attend an incident involving a weapon.
A police spokesperson said: "Just after 11am on Tuesday March 19 police received a call from the Marine Academy school in Kings Tamerton in Plymouth with the report that a student was in a classroom who appeared to be holding a knife. A police unit was immediately deployed to the school. When police arrived staff had requested all other students leave the room around the time of the incident.
"No one has been injured during this incident.
"A 13-year-old boy was arrested by police for possession of a bladed article in a public place."
Police last night confirmed a 13-year-old was charged and will appear before Plymouth Youth Court on April 5.
Both parents and students were concerned about the incident.
One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "There was police out the front. They had to stop the class.
"The class where it all happened were sent home and it was all over Facebook and Twitter."
Following the incident the school updated its Facebook and Twitter page with a post which said: "A minor incident took place on campus this morning. Everything's fine and everyone is as they should be."
The comments were later removed from both social networking sites.
Helen Mathieson, principal of Marine Academy Plymouth, said: "Even though the police have described this as a minor incident, we are taking it very seriously. I can give assurance that both staff and students acted quickly and sensibly and no one was hurt.
"The safety of students is our number one priority. All our safety practices are reviewed regularly and proved to be effective."
The school also sent out a letter to parents yesterday.
It said: "No doubt you will be aware that an incident... took place today, in the science area.
"You will be reassured to know that in response to this incident, staff immediately acted and ensured the safety of all students.
"Police were called and were on site to support staff within five minutes: no action from the police was necessary and the police have paid tribute to the swift and efficient response of the academy.
"We are aware that there have been many rumours amongst the children and also on social media and therefore we think it absolutely essential that parents should be informed of the facts of the situation and can be clear that no one was hurt at all.
"The safety of students is the number one priority of every school and here at Marine Academy Plymouth we review our safety practices regularly.
"Today those practices proved to be effective and we can be very proud indeed of the way in which students responded to their teachers throughout, thus ensuring a calm resolution."
Marine Academy Plymouth's recent Ofsted graded the school good for the behaviour and safety of pupils.
It said: "Students view the academy as safe and secure", adding: "Most students described the academy as a happy place to be."