A TEENAGE boy was today being questioned by detectives on suspicion of stabbing to death a long-serving teacher in front of a c lass full of pupils.
The 15-year-old was being held on suspicion of murdering Anne Maguire, 61, at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.
Mrs Maguire, a Spanish teacher and long-time head of year 11 who had served at the Halton Moor school for several decades, was knifed as she took a lesson shortly before lunch.
Fellow staff members, who were alerted by the screams of horrified pupils who witnessed the incident, rushed to the scene and detained a 15-year-old boy until police arrived.
Despite treatment in school and in hospital, Mrs Maguire’s death was confirmed a short time later.
Jacob Hill, 16, was in another lesson when the incident happened at 11.48am. He said: “I heard all the screams and the whole of the top floor was put on lockdown. The four surrounding classrooms got taken for questioning. We were told a teacher had been attacked, but nothing more than that.”
While scheduled lessons ostensibly continued after the incident – as the school’s management attempted to maintain a degree of normality – students said they struggled to concentrate. Some students and staff were kept behind after school finished to provide witness statements to police. Many were seen leaving in tears.
A steady stream of pupils and former pupils arrived at the school throughout the afternoon and evening to lay floral tributes as people expressed deep shock and paid fulsome praise to the hugely popular teacher.
It is understood Mrs Maguire, who had taught several generations of some families, had recently returned from retirement in order to continue working part-time.
Margaret Freeman, who taught alongside her for 15 years, said: “There is no one who would have had a bad word to say against Anne. She was a wonderful person and an incredibly conscientious teacher. She was always there for her students and regularly held extra lessons to help them through exams.
“Anne’s sister died relatively young and she and her husband Don raised her two young boys along with their own two children. She was someone who always thought of others and it is so sad and shocking to think that she died in this way.”