School acts to tackle ‘troubling’ harm craze

School acts to tackle ‘troubling’ harm craze

Penrice Academy Picture: Paul Williams

19th May 2021

By Natasha Swift

A St Austell secondary school has taken quick action to stamp out “a sweeping and troubling social media trend” which involves pupils causing physical harm to their classmates using sharp objects.

Parents of pupils at Penrice Academy raised concerns after being told by their children about a “stabbing game trending among young people”.

They said some students had been using the wire out of face masks and metal from maths compasses to inflict injury on their classmates.

One parent, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of their child, told the Voice: “Our child came home and said some of their classmates had been taking the wire out of face masks and using it to stab or injure people with.

“I was told that one pupil had used the wire out of the nose bit of the mask and cut into a chair leg, which just shows how sharp and dangerous they are.

“A student could potentially be hurt very badly by this trend. It makes you think ‘what on earth will they come up with or do next?’ Parents need to speak to their children about the dangers of this.

“The school has acted really quickly and called an emergency assembly to warn pupils about this unacceptable behaviour. It is concerning that kids are going around doing this to each other.

“It is concerning that kids are going around doing this to each other.”

Penrice Academy, on Charlestown Road, is part of the Cornwall Education Learning Trust.
Kay Adams, senior vice principal and designated safeguarding lead at Penrice Academy, told the Voice: “We recently became aware that a small number of our pupils were following a sweeping and troubling social media trend which involves causing physical harm to classmates using sharp classroom objects and stationary.

“This was quickly brought to the attention of staff and appropriate sanctions have been issued to the small number of Year 8 students involved in line with our zero tolerance policy to such behaviour.
“We have since held our weekly assembly with the Year 8 pupils and we used this time to educate them on the dangers of such behaviour and appropriate treatment of classmates.

“We continue to work collectively with the wider community as we seek to further inform our pupils on the risks of social media, keeping them safe both in and outside of school.”

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