Bullying complaint in scissors stabbing case

A complaint against a school principal for ignoring bullying concerns has been passed to police to investigate.

The adult sister of the 11-year-old boy alleged to have stabbed his classmate in the head with scissors during a school fight complained to the Ministry of Education on Friday.

The stabbing occurred last Tuesday in class at Pacific Christian School in Mangere. There was no teacher present at the time.

The principal did not return calls again yesterday.

The 23-year-old sister alleges her little brother was bullied for months but, because she was in a same-sex relationship, school principal Lisita Paongo ignored her concerns.

A source close to the family told the Herald last week the bullied boy probably just "snapped".

The sister claimed that if her concerns had been noted by the school the "tragic incident" could have been avoided.

"I don't agree with what [my brother] did to the poor student, but I know that if my concerns about my brother were taken into consideration, this whole incident could have been prevented."

The ministry confirmed yesterday that her complaint had been received and passed on to the police.

"Ministry staff had now spoken to the woman and have forwarded her complaint on to the police to investigate," said Katrina Casey, ministry head of sector enablement and support.

"If any matters relating to this bullying complaint are outstanding once the police investigation is complete, we will work with the school to ensure they are appropriately addressed."

A police spokeswoman confirmed police were given the complaint: "It has been forwarded through to the investigation team. They will process it accordingly."

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said yesterday that the woman's little brother had still not been interviewed in relation to the stabbing.

"Police and CYF specialist interviewers have completed interviews with a number of children who witnessed the incident," he said.

"The 11-year-old responsible has not been interviewed at this time."

- By Sam Boyer of the New Zealand Herald

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