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Machetes into CDs

AUSTRALIA School principals in Victoria should be allowed to trade pupils' weapons for sports goods and CDs, according to a Melbourne community group.

They should also be given the power to search students' bags for potential weapons to prevent more injuries occurring in schoolgrounds and classrooms, the group said. The Western Suburbs Community Coalition added that a study by the Royal Children's Hospital estimated that one in five Victorian secondary students carried a weapon of one type or another.

A spokesman said teenagers were carrying anything from machetes to spiked balls on chains: "When I first started as a youth worker 17 years ago, if you had a stabbing once every six weeks you thought it was bad, now you have six or so every day."

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