Safety of boarders in doubt after attack on schoolgirl

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Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A school admits it can't assure the safety of boarders after a girl was attacked in a boarding hostel - allegedly by other girls jealous of her looks.

Otorohanga College board of trustees chairwoman Sonya Hetet confirmed yesterday the girl was injured this month, in what police described as a serious assault, but she had since recovered.

Initial reports were that two girls, and a third who watched, broke into the girl's room and assaulted her.

But Hetet said yesterday the board had spoken to more than 25 pupils - including those involved - about dorm raids leading up to the attack.

She would not confirm how badly the girl was injured. "I've spoken to her mum and she's met with the principal ... I understand [her daughter] is fine now."

The girl's mother said her daughter was singled out because she was pretty.

"We get a lot of comments about how stunning she is from many people, but they fail to realise this is causing her more pain than you would believe," she told the Waikato Times.

"She doesn't go looking to start trouble. It's not her fault if boys like her."

Hetet said she could not be certain it would not happen again. "I believed previous to this event that parents could have that confidence. When something like this happens, I don't have that confidence."

The pupils involved were stood down while the board investigated and final decisions on their futures at the school had been made. Hetet refused to say what those were but said the board would investigate management of the hostel.

Sergeant Andy Connors, of Otorohanga, said two of the alleged offenders, both under 17, had been spoken to. They would be dealt with by Youth Aid.

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