Injured teachers ‘cannot comprehend’ Welsh school stabbing incident

Fiona Elias and Liz Hopkin were allegedly stabbed by a 13-year-old student at the end of the morning break

Athena Stavrou
Friday 26 April 2024 18:42 BST
Wales school stabbing: Victims’ injuries ‘not life threatening’, police say

Two teachers who were injured in an alleged knife attack by a teenage girl at their school have said it has been difficult to “comprehend” what happened.

Fiona Elias and Liz Hopkin spoke about the “enormous impact” this incident had after they were stabbed at Amman Valley School in Ammanford, Wales on Wednesday.

They were allegedly attacked by a 13-year-old student at the end of the morning break in an incident that also saw a pupil injured.

The school, also known as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, was placed into lockdown for several hours.

All three were taken to hospital for treatment to knife injuries, but were discharged the following day, Dyfed-Powys Police said.

The two members of staff issued statements after a 13-year-old girl appeared before Llanelli Magistrates’ Court accused of three counts of attempted murder and possessing a bladed article on a school premises.

Fiona Elias and Liz Hopkin spoke about the “enormous impact” this incident had (Supplied)

Ms Elias, an assistant headteacher at the school, said: “From the bottom of my heart, my family and I would like to say a huge thank you for all the messages we have received from far and wide over the past few days.

“I am deeply indebted to the police, ambulance service, and the NHS staff in Morriston for their excellent care and quick response.

“Many thanks also to the air ambulance for their excellent care of my colleague, Liz. This is another example of how vital this service is to us in Wales.

Air ambulances were seen attending the incident (Newyddion S4C wales)

“Three of us were taken to hospital with injuries, but this incident has had an enormous impact on my colleagues and the wonderful pupils we have at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman.

“I cannot comprehend what staff and pupils experienced on Wednesday.

“I would like to thank all members of staff for prioritising the welfare and safety of pupils at the school for four hours, and the pupils for responding so maturely and sensibly in a situation that no one expects to happen.

“One of our school’s core values is ‘resilience’, and there is no doubt that pupils have demonstrated this value in coping with a situation they should never have experienced.

“The last few days have shown that there is no other community quite like the Ysgol Dyffryn Aman community, and we will be working to support each other in the coming days and weeks.

“Many thanks to the parents of the school for their co-operation and understanding at such a difficult time and of course to the wider community and external agencies who have been so willing to support the staff and pupils.

“I understand that there has been great interest in this incident, but for the benefit of my family, colleagues, and pupils, I now ask for privacy.”

(Robert Melen/Shutterstock)

Ms Hopkin, who is an additional learning needs co-ordinator, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support shown to me and my family since the incident on Wednesday.

“I am deeply indebted to all the emergency services for their quick response and for the care provided to me and others who were admitted to hospital.

“Ysgol Dyffryn Aman is a big part of my life, and it is hard to comprehend that this has happened.

“However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our school community for all the support and kind messages that I have received.

“I have been overwhelmed by the kindness from the close community that we have here.

“I believe what we need now is time to reflect on what has happened and therefore ask for privacy for the school, myself and my family, so we can take this time to reflect and recover.”

The incident took place at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman school (Google Maps)

The teenage girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was remanded to youth detention accommodation when she appeared in court on Friday.

She will next appear at Swansea Crown Court on May 24.

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy who was arrested later on Wednesday after police received reports about messages on social media referring to the stabbings has been released on bail.

Police executed a warrant at the boy’s home, in the nearby Cross Hands area, and recovered a BB gun.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the boy has been released with conditions preventing him from entering certain educational establishments, or the Amman and Gwendraeth Valley areas.

Bail restrictions also include a curfew, and prevent him from having unsupervised access to social media.

“The investigation into the allegations continues, and Dyfed-Powys Police is now appealing for anyone with information that could assist them, including screenshots from social media,” a police spokesman added.

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