Saturday, April 28, 2007

Modern Britain: Four year old strangled by classmates

A 4 year old boy came close to losing consciousness after two classmates attempted to strangle him with a skipping rope reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The youngster was left with burn marks to his neck after the incident, which took place in the playground of Gledhow Primary School in Roundhay, Leeds, on Thursday. Police officers called at the school yesterday to talk to two other four-year-old boys who were thought to have been involved.

It seems inconceivable to me that 4 year olds should even be considering doing something like this, let alone actually carrying out such an attack. What on earth motivated them to do such a thing? These are FOUR year olds, for goodness sake! Even more worrying, perhaps, was this comment from the head teacher of the school.

Headteacher Steven Archer: "We take the safety of our children extremely seriously and work hard to make break-time activities safe and enjoyable for all our children."As soon as a member of staff noticed a mark on the neck of one of our children, he was seen by a trained first-aider and we began an investigation into how he had received the injury."

Do you see what bothers me about that? It's the fact that the head CLAIMS that they try to make break time safe for the children and then tells us that action was taken when a member of staff "noticed" the mark. In other words, no member of staff noticed that there were 2 kids trying to strangle a class mate with a skipping rope - and that implies that 4 year old children were being left to play unsupervised by adults. Even without the availability of skipping ropes that would be a careless dereliction of their duty to care for the children - remember, these are 4 year olds - but to allow them to play unsupervised with something which could easily become accidentally tangled and actually kill a child is criminal.

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