Sheffield parents in knife school protest

Safety row: Meynell Primary School
Safety row: Meynell Primary School
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FIFTY angry parents confronted a headteacher and her chair of governors after a boy aged just five took a penknife into a Sheffield school.

Mums and dads got together to demand tougher action at Meynell Primary School at Parson Cross.

Some parents took their children back home with them, saying they could not trust that the school was safe.

The boy involved has been suspended for five days - but several parents claim the police should have been called.

An incident developed during a lunch break, when a fellow pupil showed the boy a model car he had brought into school.

The boy responded by showing off his penknife - and, although the blade was not exposed, a row between the two children developed and staff stepped in. When the boy’s parents arrived later to collect him, they were given warnings by headteacher Angela Lant over his future behaviour, and the five-day suspension was implemented.

But word spread – and two meetings between parents and senior staff were then held to discuss the situation.

Gary Armstrong, aged 39, who has an eight-year-old son at the school, said a group of between 50 and 60 parents had demanded answers.

“People had heard the penknife was open and that the lad had run at another boy with it, so there was a lot of concern,” he said.

“The feeling was the police should have been involved – but the head argued the boy was only five, not 11.”

Another dad, Andrew Leach, said: “Some parents have taken their children home because they fear for their safety.

“We want action and reassurance that this is not going to happen again.

“I think this is very serious and we aren’t prepared to let this ride.

“Would you be happy thinking your child could be sitting at the side of another carrying a knife? Personally I want the child removed from the school and action taken against his parents.”

Mrs Lant insisted she was taking the matter very seriously.

“The safety of our children is our top priority,” she told The Star. “The pupil in question brought a penknife to school.

“The blade was never exposed and it can be assumed that at five years old the child was unaware of the implications of his actions.

“That being said, we do not condone this in any way, and a full investigation is already under way.

“We have spoken at length with the child who now understands what he did was wrong and as a result of his actions he is currently excluded from school. We have also spoken with the pupil’s parents and have held open meetings with other parents so everyone has a chance to have their say.

“We will not, and do not, condone any child bringing anything into school that could cause potential harm to themselves or another pupil.

“Thankfully in this instance no harm was done, lessons have been learned, and we hope we can move forward,” Mrs Lant added.