The Aberdeen Evening Express reports that Michael Matheson, the Justice Secretary attended a performance of The Balisong play at Ardrossan Academy. The play, named after the Philippine term for a butterfly knife, focuses on three teenagers discussing the circumstances leading to their friend stabbing someone and whether they could have done more to prevent it.
Written by Jennifer Adam and developed through collaboration with young actors, the play is part of the the Scottish Government funded No Knives Better Lives programme to drive down knife carrying and violence among young people.
It is scheduled to be performed at 64 schools, reaching around 12,000 pupils, in the next few months having started the run at the end of September.
Mr Matheson said: “While I was struck by the effectiveness of drama in conveying this important message, I was equally struck by the conversations that took place among pupils immediately afterwards.
“Some young people previously indicated they would not tell anyone if someone they knew was in possession of a knife. What I witnessed, and what I’m told is taking place in other schools, is the instant behaviour change The Balisong delivers.”
Figures released last week revealed 254 children under 16 were referred to the children’s reporter last year for carrying knives and other weapons.
The issue of knife crime in schools was raised at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday when the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson called for councils to make information on the problem publicly available following the death of Aberdeen pupil Bailey Gwynne two years ago.
Have similar plays toured your local area? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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