WISBECH: Police say they will probe video footage showing boy being attacked at school
By ADAM LAZZARI VIDEO footage obtained by the Wisbech Standard shows a teaching assistant unable to control a playground fight. The one minute and forty five second clip was taken on a mobile phone by a pupil and shows the assistant powerless to break up
By ADAM LAZZARI
VIDEO footage obtained by the Wisbech Standard shows a teaching assistant unable to control a playground fight.
The one minute and forty five second clip was taken on a mobile phone by a pupil and shows the assistant powerless to break up the fight in a playground of the Thomas Clarkson Community College.
At one point the victim, 13 year-old Jack Preston, is shown having been knocked to the ground looking upwards to the teaching assistant for help that never came.
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A voice is heard to shout 'Miss, ain't you going to help him?' but the assistant makes little attempt to step in and break up the fight or call for help. The footage shows Jack being repeatedly kicked while he is on the ground.
Police have now launched an inquiry and last night appealed for witnesses to come forward.
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"Anyone with information about this incident should contact police at Thomas Clarkson School or Wisbech Police Station on 0845 456 456 4," said a spokesman.
"If an incident of bullying is deemed too serious for the school to deal with independently, we can become involved in a criminal investigation."
Jack's parents claim he has been constantly bullied since he joined the school two years ago and their complaints have not been taken seriously - a point strongly denied by head teacher Maureen Strudwick.
She said: "The college policy on bullying is to respond immediately. The teaching assistant made an attempt to stop the boys, but they did not respond." The assistant sent a student to summon help but the fight was over by the time senior staff arrived.
Mrs Strudwick is "very confident" in her senior team and said the teaching assistant remained at the school.
Mrs Strudwick said the perpetrator was expelled for this and other incidents.
One of Jack's friends made the video to support claims he has been bullied but his family has only now made it public after claiming they have been unable to get matters resolved.
Disturbances have spread to the Prestons' home and Jack's mum and dad, and parents of another child caught up in bullying allegations, say they will withdraw their children from the school.
Mrs Strudwick accepts the challenges facing the college "are complex and we need to meet individual needs of all our students and therefore raise attainment. We are confident that we are an improving school at all levels".