YEP Says, April 30: School and city still struggling to come to terms with tragedy

Floral tributes to teacher Ann McGuire outside Corpus Christi College.
Floral tributes to teacher Ann McGuire outside Corpus Christi College.
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Ann Maguire was an inspirational teacher whose legacy is destined to live on.

IF anyone can grasp the shock and grief that has consumed Ann Maguire’s family, colleagues and students in the wake of her death it is Frances Lawrence.

Nearly 20 years ago, her headteacher husband Philip was murdered outside his school as he intervened to save a pupil from gang violence.

“By now perhaps I should have learned words of comfort for you,” Mrs Lawrence told those mourning the much-loved teacher via the YEP.

“But I have learned only that there are no words. Instead I send all my love and my prayers and my ongoing thoughts along the cruel journey which you are now forced to begin.”

As the ring of flowers outside Corpus Christi College continued to grow, those who knew the much-loved teacher were still left asking one question – Why?

And not just them. The city as a whole has been left stunned by an apparently motiveless attack that has robbed a school and wider community of a woman who was loved and respected by generations of pupils and their parents.

How bitterly ironic that this was to be Mrs Maguire’s final full term as a teacher before her retirement.

At least one thing is now certain. The 61-year-old will never be forgotten by all those whose lives she touched during four decades of dedication. The ever growing piles of floral tributes tell us that much.

A timely show of support for teachers

IT’S sad that it takes a tragedy of the scale of that which unfolded at Corpus Christi College for some to recognise the contribution made by teachers.

Respect for the profession has dwindled in recent the years, part of the reason for the ill discipline sometimes seen in classrooms.

So it’s heartening that a campaign started in Leeds to recognise and pay tribute to great teachers in the wake of Ann Maguire’s death has set Twitter alight.

Messages have flooded in using the thankyouteacher hashtag. It’s a moving and important show of support at a time when teachers everywhere are still reeling from the senseless killing of one of their own.

Gary Edwards, pictured with some of his Leeds United memorabilia collection in 2012.

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