Security in Schools: Are Playgrounds Safe Place? NEWS FOCUS

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), July 30, 2004 | Go to article overview

Security in Schools: Are Playgrounds Safe Place? NEWS FOCUS


Byline: Education Reporter LUCY WILSON

THE brutal murder of 14-year-old Luke Walmsley, knifed to death by another pupil, sent shockwaves through the world of education. This week, as school bully Alan Pennell, 16, was caged for life, Education Reporter LUCY WILSON asks if more security in schools is needed.

LUKE Walmsley's tragic murder was such a rare event that new drastic security measures are not needed, according to a Coventry headteacher.

Earlier this week, school bully Alan Pennell, 16, of Grainthorpe in Lincolnshire, was given a life sentence for stabbing to death 14-year-old Luke Walmsley last November.

It was recommended the teenager serve at least 12 years following the stabbing, which happened at Birkbeck Secondary School in Lincolnshire where both boys were pupils.

John Vickers, head of Coundon Court School in Northbrook Road, Coventry, said: "I've been 30 years in the job and I can say something like this happens very rarely - I don't remember hearing about any other killing in a school.

"It's an opportunity for schools to have another look at security but generally people behave reasonably and sensibly in schools.

"Pupils are not allowed knives in this school and if they need knives for cutting work in class teachers count them out and count them back in again."

But the incident has shocked parents, who say the thought of their children being bullied is worrying enough without them fearing for their physical safety while they are at school. …

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