A teaching union representative has said that it is better that one child is stabbed than to have schools erect knife detector arches.
Redbridge National Education Union joint divisional secretary Kash Malik spoke after the council in the East London borough announced plans to put knife arches and detecting wands in secondary schools.
“Knife arches are not the answer," he told the Ilford Recorder. "I have never been in favour of them and schools shouldn’t have to worry about it, it should be an environment where you should be focusing on studying.
“It is better to have one child stabbed at school than to have an environment where no one is stabbed at school and everyone carries knives outside of school."
Mr Malik confirmed his controversial comments to Tes, and explained his view that the widespread installation of knife arches would "normalise carrying knives".
He said that arches and wands could make it less likely that stabbings would take place in schools, but increase the number of incidents elsewhere as more knives would be carried.
“If you put arches and wands in schools it normalises the idea that people carry knives except at school,” Mr Malik told Tes.
“People think once they have put up arches they have done their bit, but they haven’t – it just normalises the carrying of knives and people think they can carry a knife, just not at school.
“Better one child is stabbed if there are no arches than society accepts carrying knives outside school.”
Mr Malik said the increased knife problem was due to "the loss of community police due to the cuts, they used to be there before and after school and that created a safer environment".
He was, though, in favour of giving police more stop and search powers near schools and said these should be carried out without regard to a person's skin colour.
Putting knife arches in all of its schools is part of the council’s Safer Redbridge Strategy.
The NEU said it "categorically" rejected the comments and had suspended Mr Malik while they were investigated.