Norfolk high school student arrested after threatening to bring gun to school

Neatherd High School, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Neatherd High School, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A school in Dereham has assured parents that their children are safe after a pupil was found to be in possession of a kitchen knife and another threatened to bring a gun onto school grounds.

In an email sent by Neatherd High School's head teacher, Peter Devonish, he states that he hopes to 'prevent misinformation' and 'wishes to reassure' parents that their children are safe in the school.

The letter was sent on Friday afternoon, shortly after a teenage boy was arrested for 'threats to kill' and stating on social media that he would bring a firearm to school.

A parent alerted teachers to the social media post on Friday morning and the police were called immediately.

Officers met the student on arrival and while no weapons were found, a police spokesperson confirmed that the student had been arrested and is in custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre.

It happened just nine days after another incident where another teenage boy was found to be in possession of a kitchen knife.

According to Mr Devonish's letter, the student alleged the knife was for protection.

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Police were called immediately and the teenager was arrested for having a blade on school premises and for threats to kill when talking among friends.

He has now been released but remains under investigation and is no longer a pupil at Neatherd.

The school has emphasised that in both of these incidents no one was harmed and they have made it a priority to communicate what has happened.

Their response has prompted many parents to take to social media and praise their swift response and communication.

Students were also kept informed in assemblies and in messages given to them by their subject teachers.

Commenting on the news, Breckland Councillor Allison Webb, said: 'I'm sure that the school head teacher and the governors are doing everything they can to control the situation but of course it is disappointing to hear these things happening.

'It is an awful shock and you don't expect it in a place like Dereham, the only thing the school can do is work together with the police ensure people are safe.

'I'm confident that they are doing that and I think communicating with the parents was the right thing to do.'