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 the signs of autism spectrum disorders – National Autistic Society