Students stabbed with needle in primary school attack
AT LEAST 15 primary school students were stabbed with a needle by a classmate at a Toowoomba school on Tuesday.
A concerned Rangeville State School parent who contacted The Chronicle said the stabbings were a deliberate attack, not an accident.
She said her child was injured in the attack, which prompted principal Ben Kidd to send a letter to all of the school's families.
"We are writing to inform you of an incident that occurred at school on (February 6) involving a group of students that were exposed to a diabetic lancet resulting in a needle stick injury," Mr Kidd wrote.
"The school has responded to the incident and have been in contact with parents of students who were identified as being directly involved."
A diabetic lancet is a device with a small needle used to draw blood for testing.
In another letter sent home to parents, Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson said the incident involved at least 15 students.
"Even though the risk is extremely low, the main concern with needle-stick injuries is exposure to blood borne viruses particularly hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV," Dr Hutchinson said.
"It is important for you to speak to your child to see if they have received a needle-stick at the school.
"If they have, please see your local GP."
The parent said she was concerned their child could have contracted a blood-borne virus following the stabbings at the school and were worried it would take months to get the test results.
Dr Hutchinson confirmed to the Chronicle it could take up to six months for the final blood test results to be available.
"I understand it is an anxious time for families of the affected students," Dr Hutchinson said.
"The way it works is that there is a baseline test and then subsequent tests at three and six months.
"The risk of transmission is low, but it is important that the full suite of testing is completed."
A Department of Education spokesperson said all Queensland state schools regard the health and safety of students as their highest priority.
"The school acted quickly to inform parents of the incident and sought advice from Queensland Health Darling Downs Public Health Unit on the best course of action," the spokesperson said.
"The Queensland Police Service dealt with a student for a number of offences.
"Investigations have now concluded and this matter is finalised."
A Queensland Police spokeswoman said the Toowoomba Child Protection Investigation Unit investigated the incident, which was classified as an assault occasioning bodily harm, over four days.
"(Police) worked in conjunction with the principal and all of those involved," the spokeswoman said.
The police investigation closed on Friday afternoon.