Scared parents tell students to cover uniforms after boy stabbed

Author
Vaimoana Tapaleao, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 15 Jun 2020, 12:56PM
De La Salle Colege. (Photo / File)
De La Salle Colege. (Photo / File)

Scared parents tell students to cover uniforms after boy stabbed

Author
Vaimoana Tapaleao, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 15 Jun 2020, 12:56PM

Parents of students at a college where a teenager was stabbed by an alleged rival group are covering up their children's school uniform out of fear they will be targeted.

Students from De La Salle College in Māngere East, South Auckland, were set upon on Friday afternoon by what is understood to be teenagers and men connected to another Auckland secondary school.

One boy from De La Salle was stabbed in the stomach, while another student was also hospitalised for injuries to his head.

The mother of a teen at De La Salle told the Herald of the fear she has for her own son and the moves she and other parents had taken to make sure their kids got to school safely today.

"My son's wearing a different jacket today and I told him he's not to show his La Salle jumper on the train."

She said she and other parents had banded together to ensure all their boys were dropped off at the train station by an adult - who stayed with them until the train left.

"[The adult] would just text the rest of us and say: 'Yep, they all got on the train safely'."

Arrangements had also been made for her son to be picked up after school directly outside the college gates.

The mother of the teen, who asked to stay anonymous, said there was a real fear sending her children to school this morning.

The woman had witnessed Friday's attack after what she felt was a divine intervention made her go to the college to pick up her son after he text her that he had to stay late.

'They were just charging at these little kids'

After parking up near a zebra crossing outside the college shortly before 4.30pm, she noticed a large group of teenage boys and men standing directly opposite the school gates.

She guessed there were up to 20 boys and men "who looked like they could be their uncles" all wearing ordinary clothes.

"As soon as [my son] got in the car, the boys just ran across the road. They didn't care about the cars coming, they all just charged.

"That's when I saw some of them had wooden planks. They had two planks from what I could see - one at the front and one at the back.

"They were just charging at these innocent little kids and I just saw them falling."

The mother said any student who was wearing the De La Salle uniform and happened to be standing outside at that moment was targeted.

"I saw them leaning back and take cover. It was like a movie."

Her own son, in the back seat, was now covered up while she stared straight ahead.

"We had to pretend he wasn't in the car. I'll be honest - we were scared."

All the other vehicles parked near the crossing were effectively stuck, she said, as the attack continued.

Those involved only scattered towards the train station - on nearby Ōrākau Rd - behind Middlemore Hospital when police started to arrive.

It is understood De La Salle is holding a special assembly today to address the incident and to speak about being safe while going to and from school.

Principal Myles Hogarty has been sought for comment.

The other school whose students are thought to be those involved said "no comment" when approached by the Herald.

Police are due to give an update on the situation - including whether or not any charges have been laid - late this morning, a police spokesman said.