The case of Ann Maguire is eerily familiar in many ways. Before being brutally murdered by one of her pupils, she was subjected to a volley of threats via her attacker's Facebook page - threats that were not unknown to the other pupils in her care, thus, one would assume, taking into account the fact that news travels like wildfire in schools, threats that were not unknown to her colleagues either. This begs the question: what did the Senior Leadership do about it?
I have recently been reprimanded for questioning my Head teacher's decision to reintegrate a violent, threatening pupil after a two-day exclusion. The pupil in question approached a female member of staff, invaded her personal space and, nose to nose, threatened to head-butt her. This was his latest act in a long list of violent misdemeanors. He has locked a colleague in her stationary cupboard and threatened, via Facebook, to 'cut-someone-up'. If this isn't eerily portentous, a harbinger perhaps of things to come, I don't know what is!
Last year, during a Design and Technology lesson, he picked up a screwdriver and threatened to stab the teacher. But after tortured deliberation, I've been told by our wonderful, enlightened philosophes in the Senior Leadership Team, we're taking him back, 'reassuringly' accompanied by a rigorous risk assessment that, on inspection, categorizes him as a 'critical risk' to staff and pupils. As you can imagine, my colleagues and I are slightly concerned about this, to say the least.
During a staff meeting, I raised the issue and expressed my belief that, as a consequence of his previous behaviour, and in light of the high level of risk attached to his reintegration, as stated in the 'rigorous' risk assessment, he should be permanently excluded. Two more colleagues also expressed their disquiet before having their points casually dismissed by Jackie, our Head. She simply asserted her overriding belief that we can't permanently exclude because, yawn yawn, he's got psychological problems, including ADHD. Moral relativism, in case we forgot, is still alive and kicking in our schools. It's okay if he kills someone; he's got problems; you, on the other hand, have no known conditions so must feel the full force of the law. What a joke!
Anyway, the next day she called me into her office to, yet again, berate my tone rather than the content of my argument. Exhausted, dejected and demoralised, I didn't have the energy to challenge her sophistry. I concurred, apologised and trudged back to class. After sitting at my desk, I considered the curious, unlikely, fact that only one teacher's been murdered over the last twenty-odd years. How have we managed to avoid more, to literally dodge so many bullets, especially when one considers the moral bankruptcy so prevalent in our schools?
Ann Maguire's untimely, violent death should act as a warning to our politicians and school leaders. Liberal-Lefties are placing pupils and teachers in grave danger!