VOICE OF THE FENS: Editor explains why he took decision not to publish attack video

By THE EDITOR OUR decision not to publish the video showing progress of a violent fight inside the grounds of Thomas Clarkson Community College was not taken lightly. Maureen Strudwick, the newly installed head, and her team have an enormous and challeng

By THE EDITOR

OUR decision not to publish the video showing progress of a violent fight inside the grounds of Thomas Clarkson Community College was not taken lightly.

Maureen Strudwick, the newly installed head, and her team have an enormous and challenging time handling the varying needs of this diverse campus and deserve our support.

Allowing public access to the events of that day in January we felt did not progress the commitment to change which the college embraces. Neither, incidentally, would it help a police investigation that has now begun into the menacing scenes captured by a schoolboy on his mobile phone.


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However what this incident has highlighted, unfortunately all too graphically, is the fact that discipline at Thomas Clarkson, and in fairness at many other schools, remains an issue for which constant vigilance and care is required.

We hesitate to point fingers of blame anywhere but some parents may question if playground supervision is robust enough for the college and if not whether the authorities are considering a review.

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Sadly some young people go to college reluctantly and get involved in anti social behaviour that, within the wider community, would not be tolerated and would inevitably attract judicial interest.

We have no idea of whether the events recorded on camera in this instance were typical or whether they involved another episode in a long and sustained bullying campaign against the 13 year old victim (we tend to believe our evidence substantiates this, at least in part).

Throughout this week we have engaged the college in our thinking but they have not influenced our decision not to show this video to a wider audience.

But the fact remains that behavioural problems at the school are an issue, and parents will need constant reassurance they are being tackled.

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