Auckland intermediate school lockdown: Bitten teacher back at work, dogs still on the run

Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School was forced into lockdown yesterday after the deputy principal was bitten by one of two dogs roaming the grounds.  Photo / Doug Sherring
Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School was forced into lockdown yesterday after the deputy principal was bitten by one of two dogs roaming the grounds. Photo / Doug Sherring

A deputy principal attacked by a vicious dog roaming a West Auckland intermediate school is back at work today despite suffering a leg wound.

Blockhouse Bay Intermediate acting principal Ngaria Stephenson wrote on the school's Facebook page the school deputy head had been bitten but was at school despite the ordeal.

The school was forced into lockdown yesterday just before 3pm soon after the teacher was attacked by one of two dogs running loose on the school grounds.

"Our deputy principal sustained a dog bite and is doing well. She is back at school today," wrote Ms Stephenson.

The acting principal thanked parents for their patience and support during yesterday's lockdown.

She said the school took the safety and protection of pupils seriously and the move to keep children in class was necessary for their safety.

Ms Stephenson did not want to comment further when approached by the Herald today.

A pupil at the school described how he saw a big dog zoom past his classroom window. Soon after an alarm sounded and it was announced dogs were on the loose at the school.

Friday 11 March 2016 Dear Parents/Caregivers,Thank you for your patience and support during our lockdown yesterday at...

Posted by Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School on Thursday, March 10, 2016

"I saw one of the dogs zoom past," said the 11-year-old boy.

The pupil, 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."

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."

Last night 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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