Murder in the classroom

Following the tragic murder of Leeds School teacher Ann Maguire on 28th April 2014, in some quarters there was talk regarding whether more can be done to protect teachers and school children in our schools.

One audience member on BBC Question Time (from Leeds), 1st May 2014, even asked if we need airport style security in schools. The panel, quite rightly rejected that idea as a gross, emotional, over reaction. I think schools would be better of focusing on prevention than over the top responses.

Sadly this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of the misfit, weirdo, loner turned psychopathic murderer running amok on a school or military base. If we keep in mind that 1 in 4 people have or will have some form of mental health issue in their lifetime and that we have a 64 million UK  population, that’s a colossal 16 million people walking around with mental health issues. This is a subject Ruby Wax has talked about a lot in her last two nation wide tours. Her current sell out ‘Sane New World‘ tour focuses on mindfulness and references the ‘1 i n 4’ statistic.


Therapy and counselling

I think one potential solution would be to offer schools basic awareness training in recognising the signs of unusual behavioural traits that may be signs that a pupil might have autism, ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome or some other form of unusual behaviour traits that could well be un-diagnosed and need treating.  Many children and adults may dismiss such characters as oddballs and ignore them, when really, if a lot more people (be they teachers/administration staff/dinner ladies or cleaners etc…) were a little more aware of the signs and/or flagged up general concerns, experts could be brought in to assess, diagnose, counsel and treat pupils before matters get out of hand and end up in tragic individual or mass shooting sprees.  Often times, the children and their parents are oblivious to the condition as well. It could also of course even be that there’s nothing to worry about – some folks are just plain odd after all. There’s no law against that! Nonetheless, better safe than sorry surely.

The same practice should be adopted right across society – in the workplace, colleges, universities, voluntary organisations etc ….

Ann Maguire RIP


© Tiemo Talk of the Town


Recognising ADHD – NHS

Recognising ADHD in adults

Recognising the signs of autism spectrum disorders – National Autistic Society

Recognising autism spectrum disorders – NHS

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2 Responses to Murder in the classroom

  1. john says:

    Just seen this report and liked it a lot!

  2. Tiemo Talk says:

    Today I heard about last Friday’s mass murder spree in California’s University College Santa Barbara. This time by British born student Elliot Rodger, 22, who apparently had an issue with women and felt it was a good idea to go around shooting 6 dead and then top it off by topping himself. Madness. But known madness. Remember 1 in4. One of his own parent’s even reported him to Police last month, yet they cleared him as of no concern. How wrong were they.

    One solution that might reduce the potential for such mass murders in future is to insist that anyone purchasing a gun must not only meet whatever criteria currently exist, but must present a certificate that they are psychologically suitable to own a gun. By this I mean a psychological assessment carried out within 3 months of their gun purchase. To be repeated every 2-3 years. Charged this to the individual so it doesn’t cost the US taxpayer. Why on earth did a 22 year old California student need a gun anyway?

    Going further, I think ALL who live in the gun purchaser’s home should also be assessed. For just because one person is fit to own a gun, doesn’t mean others living in the house are. The additional risk is that they would quite easily have access to the licensed weapon of mass destruction, but not be entitled to.

    Short of banning guns altogether, which America clearly has no intention of, I see this as one viable solution.

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