Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Auckland intermediate school lockdown: Teacher attacked, dogs on the loose

School says ‘vicious dog’ sets upon teacher but parents wonder why they were not contacted sooner.
The school is no longer in lockdown. Photo / Doug Sherring
The school is no longer in lockdown. Photo / Doug Sherring

An Auckland intermediate student saw a big dog zoom past his classroom window soon after a teacher was attacked by two vicious dogs.

Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School went into lockdown after the attack just before 3pm yesterday.

The extent of the teacher's injuries was unknown last night.

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An 11-year-old student at the school said an alarm went off and it was announced dogs were on the loose at the school.

"I saw one of the dogs zoom past," he said.

The student, whose parents agreed he could speak to the Herald, said the dog was big and light brown.

"It kept roaming around," he said.

"I saw a girl run across the grounds afterwards and go into a classroom. I don't think she knew what was going on.

"We were told we had to stay indoors and that we weren't allowed to go near the windows."

Another student said the dogs barked at two of his friends.

"So my friends told the dogs to go away and shouted at the dogs. Then I think the dogs started to chase them because when they came into the class they were puffing."

An Auckland Council animal control officer and four police officers arrived at the school shortly afterwards to search for the dogs.

The officers spent more than an hour looking for the dogs in the school grounds, and also patrolled neighbouring streets.

The school remained in lockdown for about 30 minutes.

The boy's father arrived at the school at 3pm to find the school gates chained up. He said about 20 parents were standing around wondering what had happened.

The boy's mother said the school did not send a text message and email to parents until 4.15pm, which she described as "a bit odd".

"I thought they would have told us before or while it was happening, rather than after it was all over."

The message said: "Lockdown at school due to two vicious dogs on school grounds. A teacher was attacked."

Students at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate were kept back after the 3pm school bell as attempts were made to retrieve the animals. Photo / Doug Sherring
Students at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate were kept back after the 3pm school bell as attempts were made to retrieve the animals. Photo / Doug Sherring

Blockhouse Bay Intermediate did not respond to the Herald's request for comment before deadline.

Its acting principal, Ngaria Stephenson, said on Facebook: "We would like to thank the police and Dog Control who supported our school during a lockdown this afternoon at approximately 2.50pm.

"All students exited the school in a calm and responsible manner at approximately 3.30pm. We are extremely proud of our teachers, students and parents who acted in a professional and calm manner."

As of 6pm yesterday, the dogs had not been found.

Anyone with any information about the dogs can contact Auckland Council on 09 301-0101.

- NZ Herald

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