Monday, 16 September 2013

School Shooting in Jersey (Exclusive).


A pupil, at a local (Jersey) secondary school, was shot in the face by a teacher with a starting pistol. The incident took place back in May this year and the teacher was fined in the Magistrate’s Court after pleading guilty to discharging an imitation firearm.

Below is another Blogger (Jersey’s only independent media) exclusive where the mother of the victim tells us, the series of events concerning the shooting, from her perspective and relates some still unanswered questions.

Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that NONE of the Island’s State Media has contacted the mother over this, very relevant, child safety issue. In light of the Jimmy Savile/HDLG Child Abuse cover-ups one would have hoped the State Media would be seeing this story as one of immense public interest and might have asked a few questions of the Education Department also?

Incident at school on Monday 13th May 2013

"I came home from work on what I thought was a normal day until my son came in from school after catching the bus home and said to me "You will never guess what happened to me at school today" I looked at him and saw that he had a bloodshot eye and black specks all over his face.

I asked him what had happened and he said "(teacher’s name) shot me in the face with a starter pistol" I could not believe my ears! I thought when you sent your child to school they were in a safe place!! I then went on to ask him numerous questions including why had I not been contacted by the school, what time did it happen, did he not get to medical and A&E? Once it had all registered I asked him how exactly it happened and did anyone else see what happened and when it happened?

My son then went on to tell me it was during his 2nd lesson of the day, he was playing 5 aside football in the sports hall, (why would a teacher be in possession of a starter pistol at an indoor 5 a side football match?) was talking to his mate and something made him turn around and as he did he was temporarily blinded by what hit him in the eye. He told me that The teacher quickly took him into the toilets to go and wash his eye and face and then when they came back into the hall (teacher’s name) told the class that none of them were to repeat what had just happened to anyone or he would get the sack.

My Son then went to medical to seek advice about his eye and saw the head of P.E. at the same time and told him what had just happened. After this he took him back to class where, my son told me, 5 of his classmates told him that (teacher’s name) had said just before he pulled the trigger "watch this I'm going to shoot "pupil x"

As soon as I heard the full story I was straight on the phone to the school to speak to the head teacher, when I asked him why I had not been contacted, the moment this had happened (the second class of the day) he told me he knew nothing about the incident and would have to go off and speak to his staff and come back to me, which he did within minutes.

I then took my son to A&E to get his eye checked which clearly should have been done via school that morning but WAS NOT.

I then took it upon myself the following morning to get in contact with the Education Department to report it and I also reported it to the police. 
I still need a lot of questions answered, which include: -

Why did a teacher have access to a gun?

Why did he have it in an enclosed environment during a 5 aside football lesson?

Why was I not contacted for such a major incident in a school?

Why was the headmaster not informed?

My son and my family feel let down by the school and the Education Department; when answering questions in the States from Deputy Trevor Pitman, the Education Minister had said that I had been kept informed of the case throughout. This is not how I see it because you can imagine my horror when I discovered the teacher had been allocated a class to teach this term (school roster sent to parents). This is after he had been found guilty in the magistrate’s court of discharging a firearm and still subject to an internal investigation. It was only as a result of Deputy Pitman’s question I discovered the rosters were printed some four months earlier.

I would have hoped the Education Department would have warned me about (teacher’s name) appearing on the roster, if the Department were keeping me informed as Deputy Ryan said it was.

Deputy Ryan also said, in the states, that my son had made a full recovery. If he was talking in the physical sense he could be right but this episode has had a lasting damaging emotional effect on our whole family who has lost confidence in the school and the department and I no longer feel my children are safe at school.

I have also discovered, partly due to Deputy Pitman’s questions, that the teacher, or the terrifying incident, is subject of an internal enquiry. I have not been told what the Terms of reference are for this enquiry, is it a disciplinary enquiry, a procedural enquiry, what is it if I am being kept informed I should have been told this."(END)

We (Team Voice) would like to ask a couple more questions such as; could the teacher face further criminal charges as a result of this supposed internal investigation? Could he be charged with assault, ABH (Actual Bodily Harm)?

Will this be another of those inquiries that drags on until all goes quiet, the teacher returns to work and the child/family are denied a voice?

The teacher was fined £1,000 how much of that will be given to the child/family for the distress caused? Or is it that the court is profiting through a family’s misery?

We hear, as yet unconfirmed reports, that the teachers Union is paying the £1,000 fine. Who is representing the child’s best interests?

If our States (Island's Parliament) take child safety issues seriously, why is it that not one member had a single question to ask of the Minister during Deputy Trevor Pitman's question(s) concerning this grave matter?

Finally, we ask, what really has changed in child protection since the Haut de la Garenne/Savile cover-up? How much safer are our children now and how better represented are they when up against a States Department?

29 comments:

  1. VFC - in any other respectable jurisdiction in western Europe, you might metaphorically describe this as "unbelievable" - sadly, here in Jersey it's merely the latest manifestation of a polity and public sector departments which are simply not accountable and a law unto themselves.

    Even if a "regrettable 'one-off' moment of madness" by the teacher involved, the individual's judgment and personal conduct and levels of "maturity" make them wholly unfit for the teaching profession.

    It's quite simple - the Minister must require of Mario Lundy that this person - within proper due process - is suspended & dismissed - or someone must bring a vote of no-confidence in the Minister.

    It's as simple as that.

    Neither the Minister nor Lundy will, of course, properly undertake those public interest actions.

    Let's face it - if the Minister was anything other than weak, passive non-entity - Lundy would have been sacked a long time ago.

    Stuart

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  2. Good journalism and once again filling the vacuum.

    Interesting how this story once again reveals that the government culture in Jersey has changed not a jot in spite of all of the experience of recent years. The authorities might or might not be doing something meaningful about this. We do not know.

    What however we do know for certain is that the last person to be considered or informed what is going on is the victim and his family. The victim appears to be just a name on a report which needs to be "dealt with" according to the "correct procedure."

    Any thought of engagement with the victim and family as human beings appears to be totally absent. But there again it always was.

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  3. Most people like myself thought this was just an unfortunate incident or accident.

    If the teacher did in fact set out to harm child X, if in fact he did not put the child first and then get proper medical treatment. If in fact he did not go to his superiors hoping to cover up his actions, then that is three questionable actions that put his personal interest before the child.

    Ok that was the truth then that is also his choice, the authorities have a responsibility to put the child first and take the appropriate action.

    The ball is clearly in management's court to be open and transparent after a fair and impartial hearing ( who has already been fined ? ) and sack the teacher if all and more ( to be discovered ) of the above is true. If they do not, then they are part of a wider more dangerous cover up, which should be watched over by the public and the States and then the management should be investigated by an outside competent authority.

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    Replies
    1. It has also been reported that the teacher fired the gun as "a prank." It's funny to shoot a pistol in an enclosed environment with children present? Hasn't the teacher heard about Sandyhook, Columbine and the like? If this is part of the teacher's defence (a prank) then serious questions need to be asked about his mental state. Guns (imitation or otherwise) should not be regarded as funny around children.

      Delete
  4. Is Lundy still over here, we have heard nothing from him during the latest school exam results, and nothing about this incident, has he been given the golden handshake?

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    Replies
    1. The CEO of Education Department Mario Lundy is still in position. He retires next year. His silence over the entire child abuse scandal has been deafening let alone this latest episode. He Will have questions to answer at the child abuse COI.

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  5. Its an absolute disgrace and im sick to death of how corrupt our government departments have become.

    someone shooting a starting pistol in the face of a child who is in the teachers care, and he gets no punishment.

    If i was to walk into the town and shoot a kid in the face with a firing pistol, causing harm, i would be spending time in jail or getting community service.

    And what does this teacher get, a wrap on the knuckles and told not to do it again, oh and dont worry, we'll pay that fine for you so don't worry.

    Utterly corrupt and disgraceful.

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  6. Jacques M F Chartier16 September 2013 at 18:30

    Whether this incident was a prank or not it is a criminal matter. I would therefore say that this young man and or his family should apply for criminal compensation. I hope the young lad is recovering from this ordeal. This child may come to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder in the future. What ever way the authorities wish to down-play this incident. The fact remains that this child was shot at point-blank range...

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    Replies
    1. Education Minister, Deputy Patrick Ryan, told the states that the child/victim has made a full recovery (main posting). Although it is unclear where he got his information because, to the best of my knowledge, he's never discussed the case with the victim's mother. Is he relying on all his information from civil servants without talking with the victim and/or his family in light of the Haut de la Garenne atrocities? If so, then the questions still stand; what has been learnt from the HDLG scandal and how much safer are our children now? What has changed?

      Delete
  7. When an employee does something as dangerous as this, what does he expect the result to be if he knows the head of Education is an evidenced child batterer?

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  8. This was terribly mishandled. If the child had been injured in a regular sports accident, it would have been approached differently. Everyone involved except the mother and the politicians questioning the process, only looked out for themselves, not the child.

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  9. I know Jon Gripton and you are not twitter friends, so you might have missed this

    Data protection & Jersey's secret court case. Join @matthewjersey for Wednesday breakfast on @bbcjersey 88.8FM 7-9am

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  10. You might want to interview the teacher now and get his side of the story. I believe the pupil has made his life hell for the past couple of years. Two sides to every story remember. I know the teacher and the pupil involved in this and know I would believe the teacher

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    Replies
    1. I’d be more than happy to interview the teacher and, seeing as you know him, you might ask him and set it up?

      There are countless reports and Serious Case Reviews which have concluded that the reason abuse was able to go on against children is because the children were not listened to or believed. The very trait you display with your comment.

      Let’s suppose your opinion is factual and the child did make the teacher’s life hell. Are you saying the best way to sort it out is to shoot the child in the face with a starting pistol? Are you suggesting, in any way, because the child was a difficult child that the teacher is vindicated for shooting him in the face?

      We must remember that the teacher denies he shot the child purposely and it was a prank. Presumably thinking the child, and possibly others, would find it amusing/funny? That being the case one would suggest he (the teacher) believed he had a good relationship with the child and would see the supposed “funny” side?

      Delete
  11. Again Radio Jersey is winding people up asking stupid questions. Today it is "Today we are asking should we be able to say anything we like online?" (or words to that effect).

    Really obviously weighted questions designed to get people phoning in their opinions. The other day it was about charging to see the air display, which no-one had called for, and was obviously unworkable.

    Is this a good use of taxpayers money, BBC? Providing a service so boring that you have to ask really dumb questions to drum up controversy?

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    Replies
    1. We are probably expected to be thankful that the BBC mentioned it at all! Of course, in typical BBC fashion, it was asking the complete wrong question that suggests Bloggers/internet users, as a whole, just publish whatever they like. The question, IMO, that should have been asked is "has the data protection law been abused in a secret court case? Or why did these four proxies not use libel/defamation laws in order to publicly clear their names? Or if justice has to be SEEN to be done why was this, taxpayer funded, court case in secret? Or what ramifications could this very dangerous precedent have for journalism across the board, so-called "accredited" and so-called "non accredited?"

      Freedom of speech is under attack from the Data Protection Office, and what is believed to be, a corrupt, and politicised "justice" system.

      Delete
    2. Dep. Pitman was the last person they should have interviewed after his action against the JEP and seeing as none of these 4 people are in the public eye what is the point of doing this?

      Delete
    3. "why did these four proxies not use libel/defamation laws in order to publicly clear their names?"

      Isn't that up to them?
      Why is it up to you to decide what courses of action are best?

      Another thing, why weren't any of these 4 people asked for their say on the radio this morning?

      Delete
    4. “Dep. Pitman was the last person they should have interviewed after his action against the JEP.”

      Yeah you’re probably quite right. Deputies Pitman case was the complete opposite to the case involving the four unlikely bedfellows. The Pitman case was not held in secret, wasn’t paid for by taxpayers and wasn’t an abuse of the Data Protection Law.

      “Why is it up to you to decide what courses of action are best?”

      Who said that it was? If you look at whet you copied, and pasted, you’ll see it is a question; "why did these four proxies not use libel/defamation laws in order to publicly clear their names?"

      “why weren't any of these 4 people asked for their say on the radio this morning?”

      How do you know they weren’t?



      Delete
    5. Because none were on the radio?
      I agree with a comment on twitter that it would be understandable if these people were well known but they are not.

      Delete
    6. So you don’t know they weren’t asked then?

      Delete
    7. No idea.
      Thought you would know as you advertised the program?
      Then again why haven't you interviewed them for your own posts?

      Delete
  12. 2 are taking libel action and one was even in the Royal court recently.
    So much for the bloggers knowing the news!

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    Replies
    1. If it is a libel case then that begs the question, yet again, why was there a secret abuse of the Data Protection Law court case funded by the taxpayer?

      "So much for the bloggers knowing the news!"

      The State Media know about it then?

      Delete
    2. One libel action was started over a year ago but I do not know if it was ever mentioned in the rag because I hardly read it. Maybe they are waiting until the conclusion because the Pitman case took years.
      Just going back to your gripe, could you point out where the data protection law has been abused in this judgement because I can't see anything wrong with it?
      Can you also explain why 'nobodies' who have taken this action are made so high profile all of a sudden?
      What I mean is, why interview a member of the public on the radio who is caught up in this?

      Delete
  13. A reader says:

    "could you point out where the data protection law has been abused in this judgement because I can't see anything wrong with it?"

    Where to begin?

    1: Much of what the four proxies apparently object to is not - nor ever was - definable as "personal data". The interpretation of what constitutes "personal data" by the Jersey authorities has - by their own admission - no equivalent in any other country.

    2: Even when certain of the four proxies have been referred to in actual documents which I've quoted, such reference is to factual, evidential, incidental matters; for example, Graham Power's statement. The references in question are not private, personal data of the kind the data protection law was designed to cover.

    3: Even when it could be argued - and this in reality only applies to very, very few incidents of information published - certain references are to personal data, taken from official documents, the data protection law has - expressly - exemptions written into it precisely to cover such publication.

    4: The use made of the data protection law is startlingly ultra vires - as it ignores the exemptions built in to the law, such as permitting the handling & publication of data for such purposes as the detection & prevention of crime - and journalism - and public interest disclosure.

    5: The way in which the Commissioner and the Attorney General have used the law is shockingly biased - in pursuing these actions to halt journalism and public interest disclosure - yet refusing to take action against Sean Power for the straight theft, trafficking and publication of private data of zero public-interest merit.

    6: The court is structurally ultra vires. No court in a respectable, western democracy allows directly conflicted individuals, such as Michael Birt, to choose and appoint judges in their own cause.

    7: The conduct of the judges has been - overtly - actually biased. Just for example, receiving - and incorporating into the judgment - third-party interventions - without any notice to the respondent.

    8: The law firm involved - Bailhache LaBesse / Appleby Global is fatally directly conflicted - in that it is in the firm's own pressing financial & reputational interest to suppress my whistle-blowing & public interest disclosures.

    9: The whole process has been an unlawful abuse of public funds.

    10: The abusive & distorted & oppressive use made of the data protection law in Jersey is wholly incompatible with the "legislative purpose" by which the States approved it - and the grounds upon which it was given approval by Her Majesty in Council.

    There are more - but I think that conveys a flavour of the abuse of the data protection law by Jersey's public authorities.

    Stuart

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  14. Why is this thread topic being hijacked by those who do not understand the DPL - let them start there own blog where they can present their arguements to be debated - meanwhile:-

    Why did a teacher have access to a gun?

    Why did he have it in an enclosed environment during a 5 aside football lesson?

    Why was I not contacted for such a major incident in a school?

    Why was the headmaster not informed?

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  15. I am shocked and dismayed at this. I also know the child that was involved and know he actually had a good relationship with this teacher before this incident happened. I also know that the child decided not to press charges against the teacher due to the relationship they had. If a child had done this to another child then surely they would be expelled! Should the teacher not have the same consequence?!

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