Midlothian crime: Parents blast school silence after pupil charged with knife possession and police assault

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A 13-year-old boy was apprehended by police near Newbattle High School in Dalkeith on Monday.

Parents are in uproar after a Midlothian school took three days to inform them of a pupil being charged with alleged knife possession.

Police said a 13-year-old boy was apprehended at Newbattle High School in Dalkeith on Monday. He was also charged with alleged police assault among other offences.

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Although Midlothian Council said everyone at the school was safe during the incident, many parents only heard about it through their children or the press amid radio silence from school chiefs.

Police were called to Newbattle High SchoolPolice were called to Newbattle High School
Police were called to Newbattle High School

One parent told the Evening News: “I don’t understand why they didn’t send something on the Tuesday to say that there had been an incident and it had been dealt with. The police have confirmed it and you’re finding out from Facebook.”

Another wrote on social media: “Should not have to read about this in the news parents should have been informed of this absolutely shocking.”

And another said: “Absolutely shocking us parents weren't informed and now finding out via social media. School really isn't a safe place anymore.”

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Head teacher Gib McMillan only contacted parents this morning to correct a false press story in which it was reported the boy had ‘brandished’ a knife at the school.

In the email to parents, Mr McMillan said: “Some of you will have been made aware of a newspaper article naming our school in an incident. The news reporting of this incident is factually inaccurate, sensationalised and aimed at causing alarm.

“Newbattle remains a very safe and very calm school campus as was highlighted in our recent inspection and as you experience when in. Thank you for your continued support towards our school.”

A council spokeswoman later told the Evening News: “The school contacted parents today to address inaccuracies in a newspaper article about the incident and to reassure parents.

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“Newbattle remains a very calm and safe school campus, as highlighted in its recent inspection. As the incident had not happened on the campus and pupils were safe, parents were not contacted about the incident at the time.”

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