Increase in assaults in West Lothian primary schools

New figures have revealed classroom violence and assaults almost doubled in West Lothian primary schools in the last year.

Youngsters were caught with an alarming array of weapons, including knives, chains and screwdrivers.

The figures reveal the number of minor assaults involving children aged 11 or under rose from 15 to 29 in 2006-2007. A further 57 incidents took place at West Lothian high schools, a slight fall on 68 the previous year. Among the weapons found in high schools were a lock knife, a blade attached to a large bolt, a chain and a sock containing three golf balls.

Police had also recorded incidents where a screwdriver, a bottle, a chair, and a plastic watering can were used as weapons.

One primary school child was found armed with a pen knife, while children of the same age attacked each other with boxes, plastic bottles, a walking stick, stones from a catapult and an egg. There were also 153 incidents of physical aggression towards teachers and support staff, down from 192 the previous year.

The statistics were revealed following a freedom of information request to Lothian and Borders Police.

Shock figures as attacks in primaries double (Evening News, 18 October 2007)