Boy, 12, threatens with lighter

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Police were called to a Mount Maunganui school after a boy held a lighter against other students' heads and threatened to burn them.

The 12-year-old boy was subsequently suspended from Mount Maunganui Intermediate for three days, following the incident last week.

Principal Lisa Morresey said the boy had been disciplined and subsequent restorative meetings between the students, staff and parents had been successful. Ms Morresey said the boy's behaviour was uncharacteristic of playground behaviour at the school.

"He had a lighter and he was grabbed by two students. He ... threatened them. He didn't actually hurt them with the lighter. It was a boy being stupid," she said.

The boy is understood to have pressed the lighter against the heads of the boys that grabbed him and flicked the lighter, causing it to spark.

"I guess the motivation was mostly stupidity. I don't believe it was a malicious attack but it's concerning nonetheless," Ms Morresey said.

The school subsequently got the police involved to facilitate remedial meetings at the school.

"The restorative process was successful and all the parents and the students involved were happy with the outcome," she said.

The principal insisted the incident was isolated and playground activity was usually safe and wholesome.

"We work really hard to eliminate bullying at school. The playground environment is lovely and this was a one-off incident with this child.

"I can't reiterate enough, we've really turned behaviour around at our school," she said.

Mount Maunganui police confirmed they had been advised of the issue and had been involved.

They said the incident had been dealt with and was under control.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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