Bailey Gwynne: Sturgeon in school safety pledge

Nicola Sturgeon says she is “taking all steps” she can to ensure the safety of school pupils after the death of 16-year-old Bailey Gwynne in Aberdeen yesterday.
Nicola Sturgeon.Nicola Sturgeon.
Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister told MSPs of her “shock and sadness” as the matter was raised at Holyrood today after the youngster died from stab wounds at Cults Academy yesterday. Another 16-year-old has been detained by police who are now treating the case as murder.

Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said there are “countless families across the country who will feel this pain and sorrow” after the tragic incident.

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“It’s every parents worst nightmare sending their child off to school in the morning only for them never to return home again,” Ms Dugdale said at First Ministers Questions.

“Can the First Minister assure parents across the country that everything that can be done is being done to keep our children safe?

Ms Sturgeon said: “Yes indeed I can and should give that assurance.”

The First Minister spoke with Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing this morning to offer the Government’s support and assistance in the “days, weeks and months ahead.”

“Incidents like this are deeply shocking and deeply tragic and the impact on the lives of those who knew and loved Bailey Gwynne are impossible for any of us to imagine,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“Notwithstanding that it is also important to remember and to remind ourselves that tragic incidents like this one are thankfully extremely rare in our schools. That does not, of course, take away at all from the tragic nature of this incident.

“The Scottish Government will, in the fullness of time, make sure that any lessons that require to be learned from this incident are learned.

“While I do give the assurance that we will continue to take all steps to ensure as far as any Government possibly can the safety of young people in our schools, it is worth also remembering that violent incidents - incidents of young people possessing knives and other dangerous weapons - are on the decline.

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“That’s no reason for complacency because as the tragic incidents of the past 24 hours have reminded us one incident like this is one too many and I’m sure we are united today in our determination to make sure that no young person ever has to go through this again.”