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MELKSHAM Oak Community School is supporting police with their investigations following reports of violence between students last week.
According to parents, a ‘gang’ of around 50 students aged between 11 and 12-years old, set upon five other students after school on Thursday 2nd May. One parent told Melksham News, “It’s appalling, something needs to be done by the school. Apparently the school is aware of the gang, but are refusing to do anything about them.”
In response, interim principal of Melksham Oak, Aidan Blowers, told Melksham News, last Friday, “We were alerted to an incident after school yesterday and I met with the police straight away. I and my staff have also met and communicated with parents of some of the young people involved. We are supporting the police with their work and will continue to support them and our students moving forward.”
Posts on social media dating back to January this year, show that parents have been discussing the problem of gangs for some time, urging the school to act.
News of the most recent incident sparked further debate amongst parents on social media. One person said a relative of theirs had been involved and had just got home from hospital. They said, “She phoned the school as things unfolded and was told it was not a school matter and the phone put down. The school is fully aware of this gang…I can’t describe my anger.”
Another added, “My granddaughter was one of the girls, she has a very swollen and bruised left eye and cheek. I hope the police and school will work together to eradicate this violent behaviour. It is NOT acceptable. The ring leaders must be punished for this unprovoked attack of violence.”
However, other parents have spoken out against the criticism and in support of the school, saying they are unaware of any problem with gangs.
One mother said, “My daughter is thriving at school, she works hard and is always supported by the teachers as far as I can see. Don’t let all this drama of a bunch of kids put you off. Third child going through the Oak and all excelled.”
Another said, “It really upsets me to hear all the negativity, all my children have been to the Oak and done very well, all schools have issues, it’s how us as parents teach our children, not just school.”
A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said, “We are investigating a report of a disorder involving a large group of youths which took place at approximately 3.20pm on May 2nd in the Hawthorn Road area, Melksham. It is believed two groups of youths were involved and several are believed to have suffered minor injuries. Our enquiries are currently ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the incident should call 101 and quote log number 204 of May 2nd.”