School assault boy is winning fight for life

POLICE PRESENCE -- a mum speaks to two police officers on guard outside the National Academy after the assault -- DISPIC NHD11-2466-4.
POLICE PRESENCE -- a mum speaks to two police officers on guard outside the National Academy after the assault -- DISPIC NHD11-2466-4.
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THE HUCKNALL schoolboy who was left fighting for his life after an assault by another pupil in a classroom argument is on the mend.

The 13-year-old, who has not been named, was involved in a scuffle with another 13-year-old at the National Church Of England Academy on Annesley Road, Hucknall.

The assault happened at 9.40 am on Thursday September 22 when a punch was thrown. Sources say the victim seemed OK immediately afterwards. But minutes later, he collapsed.

Quick-thinking members of staff, including the school caretaker, rushed to help and gave him lifesaving first-aid treatment.

Paramedics were called and the boy was rushed to King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield for emergency treatment. He was later transferred to the specialist Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

In the early stages of his treatment, the boy was unconscious and described as having a serious head-injury. There were concerns he wouldn’t survive.

But now he is out of intensive care and starting to make a recovery. He is able to sit up at the side of his hospital bed.

There are hopes he might be able to return home in the next seven-to-ten days.

Dr Jon Edwards, head teacher at the National Academy, has been to see the boy several times and taken with him countless ‘Get Well’ cards from pupils and staff.

Dr Edwards has praised staff and pupils for their reaction to what was “a tough time for all involved”.

“I thought the rest of the children and the rest of the staff were really good,” said Dr Edwards. “We have had a lot of feedback from parents, who say the school handled it well.

“It was a horrible situation. Children were respectful and we prayed as a community for the boy who was in hospital. Staff were very business-like and professional.”

After the ‘altercation’ between the boys, the police were alerted and officers were on guard at the school throughout Thursday last week.

The teenager alleged to have thrown the punch was taken in for questioning to “help police with their inquiries”. He was accompanied by his mother. He has since been released pending further investigations.

All the pupils in the school were initially kept in their classrooms as the drama unfolded.

But later, they were called to a full assembly where Dr Edwards explained exactly what had happened.

A psychologist was called in to observe pupils to make sure they were coping with the trauma.

Children were also asked not to speak about the fracas on social-networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The school remained open throughout.

“There were all sorts of rumours flying around,” said Dr Edwards. “To ensure everyone was getting a consistent story, I spoke to every child in the school. The fact we did this helped them to remain calm.”

Dr Edwards also sent a letter home with every pupil in order to keep parents and carers informed. In it, he said: “There was a brief argument between two pupils in a year-nine lesson.

“One of the pupils hit the other. As a result, the boy had to be taken to hospital. Because of this, the police are involved.

“Any pupils who were present in the class have spoken to the police and have been given support.”

Hucknall’s rector, the Rev Kathryn Herrod, is the National Academy’s chaplain. She spent several hours chatting and listening to pupils to help them cope with the ordeal.

“The school handled it incredibly well,” she told the Dispatch. “Everyone was very sensible and mature. I cannot fault how it was handled.

“I will continue my work in school. We also have the Rev David Ford, the new priest at St John’s Church (Nottingham Road, Hucknall), who is assistant chaplain to the school.

“The boy who was injured is in everyone’s prayers, as are his family.

“We are praying for both families because the other boy and his parents are obviously going through a difficult time too — but in a very different way.

“This is all a very highly unusual result of an event that is extremely rare in the school.”

Nearby residents, and parents of children at the school, were left shocked by what happened.

Detectives are continuing to work closely with the academy, and their investigation is ongoing.