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Education campaigner: Action is needed to protect teachers after fatal stabbing
AN EDUCATION campaigner from Poundbury has warned that the tragedy of a teacher killed at school may not be the last of its kind unless tough new measures are taken.
The nation has been rocked by the shocking fatal stabbing of 61-year-old teacher Anne Maguire at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Margaret Morrissey, founder of Parents Outloud, worked with widow Frances Lawrence after her husband Phillip had been stabbed to death outside the London school where he was headteacher in 1995 to look at what could be done in response to the tragedy.
Mrs Morrissey, who was working in London at the time, said that some steps had been taken in the intervening period to improve security in schools but not enough had been done.
She said schools were reluctant to admit the extent of the problems they faced because they were ‘afraid of the repercussions’ from bodies such as the LEA (Local Education Authority), Ofsted and the government.
Mrs Morrissey said that measures such as security entrances to schools had to be seriously considered to prevent further tragedies.
She said: “I’m not talking about every school but large secondary schools.
“Sadly society has changed and we can’t pretend it hasn’t.
“I think we have got to accept life isn’t as it was even 20 years ago when Philip Lawrence died.”
Mrs Morrissey said the tough measures may sound extreme but she wanted people to think how they would feel if their relatives had been involved in the latest tragedy.
She said: “I think we have got to say to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and everybody else concerned that we have got to be realistic and we have got to do some serious checks.
“If we aren’t dramatic about it and don’t make a fuss it will just go on and unfortunately in a few years, it may not be very many, it will happen again.”
Mrs Morrissey said there would obviously be a significant cost to putting in the security measures but this could be diverted from money the government was spending elsewhere.
She also urged those at the top to ask the question: ‘What price is a life?’
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