Education Minister Costas Kadis expressed his sorrow on Wednesday over the stabbing in the chest of a 17-year-old by a fellow student of the same age at Vergina Lyceum in Larnaca.
The boy’s condition is described as serious but not life threatening. He was initially taken to Larnaca hospital before being moved to the Nicosia general. He was later in the day moved to a private hospital in the capital where he underwent surgery.
A 17-year-old student believed to be the perpetrator was arrested on Wednesday afternoon.
Police were called to the school right after the incident, which took place during the 11.10am break, and started inquiries into the circumstances leading to the incident. Reports said the boy was stabbed by accident as the two were just ‘playing around.’
“The student appears to bear a wound in his chest that was probably caused by a knife,” said Larnaca police spokesman, Pambos Zachariou.
He added that police had called a number of people for questioning and that a person believed to have been holding the knife was arrested. He is being investigated for causing bodily harm and injury.
According to testimonies from other students, Zachariou said, some of them had found a pocket knife on the ground in the school yard and one of them had picked it up and was fooling around with it.
“At some point the 17-year-old [victim] student complained of feeling pain and they noticed he had a chest wound and there was a lot of blood,” Zachariou said.
State broadcaster CyBC reported that students told police that neither the alleged perpetrator nor the victim had actually realised that he had been stabbed.
“This is an incident that saddens and troubles us,” Kadis said later. Just days ago, the education ministry had presented a number of measures for the prevention and proper management of delinquency-related incidents in schools.
“It appears from the result that they are not enough,” Kadis said. Within the next days, he said, he would host a meeting to look into the latest incidents and discuss further measures.
Two weeks ago police arrested three 16-year-old girls in connection with the beating of another female student in a Limassol school over personal differences. The three girls are being investigated for assault and battery, public insults and causing a ruckus.
The head of the House education committee Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis said that a more comprehensive policy needs to be in place as regards youth delinquency and that they would discuss this next week.
He added that a bill on delinquency was also pending. The bill, which was discussed in parliament for nine months, is currently at the justice ministry.