Bradford stabbing: 14-year-old boy arrested after teacher attacked during science lesson

A teacher was stabbed in the stomach at Dixons Kings Academy

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The Independent Online

The brutal stabbing of a teacher in front of pupils at a Bradford school has reignited the debate about classroom safety in the UK.

A 14-year-old boy allegedly attacked Vincent Uzomah in a science lesson with a knife smuggled into the Dixons Kings Academy yesterday, leaving him a single wound to the stomach.

Mr Uzomah, understood to be a supply teacher who had been at the school for four weeks, was said to be in a stable condition after being taken to  hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

A 14-year-old boy is being hunted by police after a teacher was stabbed at the Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was caught after a short manhunt in the city centre and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, said Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire Police.

The stabbing was witnessed by “a few students” in a classroom, according to Nick Weller, executive principal at the academy, who said it happened at the beginning of the school day. He confirmed the suspect is a pupil at the school and has been there a year.

“Obviously, it’s a very shocking thing for them to see,” he said, adding that the school’s thoughts were with the teacher’s family.

However, some parents of pupils at the school were critical of Mr Weller’s decision to keep the school open “to keep to normal routines”.

A police dog handler and his dog searching fields next to Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford, prior to the arrest of a teenager

Shakeel Ahmed, 39, had been sent a text from his 14-year-old son saying there had been a stabbing, but said police would not let him on the premises. The school, he added, was “good”, and did not have discipline problems, but he said he had been “scared” by the incident. He said the school should check pupils are “not carrying anything”, on arrival.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said “violence of any kind in schools is totally unacceptable”, and the latest incident has reignited the debate about school safety.It comes just over a year after a teacher in Leeds was stabbed to death in her classroom.

In a murder that shocked the country, Will Cornick stabbed Ann Maguire, 61,  seven times from behind as she taught a Spanish class at Corpus Christi Catholic College.

Principal at Dixon Kings Academy, Neil Miley and Executive Principal at Dixon Kings, Nick Weller (centre left) speaking to the media

Cornick, who was 15 at the time, boasted to his friends that he was going to kill her, and winked to a classmate before he launched the attack on 28 April last year. He later told psychiatrists: “Everything I’ve done is fine and dandy.”

The murder prompted some to call for metal detector checks for pupils, although Ms Maguire’s colleagues said she would have been “strongly opposed” to the idea. This view was echoed yesterday by Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

“If someone wants to get a knife into a school, they will,” she said. “Schools have perimeter fences – there are lots of ways to get things into a school that don’t involve going through a metal arch.” She added that this stabbing was “a sign of the terrible, terrible condition of our society, that teachers, who are working with young people, become the targets of this terrible violence.”

However, Ian Murch, of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Bradford branch, which has members at the school, said the latest incident “does raise questions with people about safety”.

“Obviously people are shocked – they would be when an incident like this happens at a school,” he said.

Russell Hobby, the National Association of Head Teachers’ general secretary, said it was “important to remember how rare these things are and that’s why they’re so shocking”.

“[Most] schools are doing the right things, in terms of protecting teachers and pupils,” he said. “It’s important for each individual school to create the security measures to suit the context that they’re in and not to apply the same blanket solution to all schools.”