JUST over a year after the much loved and much missed Ann Maguire was murdered in a knife attack by pupil Will Cornick at Corpus Christi College in Leeds there came a terrifying echo.
The stabbing of supply teacher Vincent Uzomah at Dixons Kings academy in Bradford has reignited the debate over school security.
Though such cases are, thankfully, still relatively rare, teachers should not be expected to go to work each day in fear of their personal safety. Nor should youngsters have to worry what might weapons be lurking in their classmates’ bags.
Yet while around 70 per cent of votes in a YEP poll yesterday were in favour of metal detectors being installed in the nation’s schools, in a supposedly civilised society should youngsters really be expected to pass through airport-style security checks and headteachers forced to turn their schools into fortresses?
A careful balance needs to be struck. As always, it should be up to individual heads to determine the safety arrangements that reflect the specific needs of their schools – and for the Government to ensure sufficient resources are available for any new measures deemed necessary.
At the same time, the courts also have a key role to play in passing sentences that ensure the message that knife possession will not be tolerated is received loud and clear.
A good knight for the new Sir Gary
THE KNIGHTHOOD for Gary Verity, the Welcome to Yorkshire supremo who brought the Tour de France to this region in such spectacular style, could not be more deserving.
Not only have his efforts put Leeds and Yorkshire on the map in terms of cycling and tourism but they have strengthened the case for us being at the centre of the new Northern Powerhouse.
This revived Yorkshire spirit epitomises the Honours List – which recognises the self-sacrifice of those people, from headline names to dedicated volunteers in local communities, who continue to go the extra mile for the benefit of others. Long may this continue.