10:09am Wednesday 27th June 2012
By David Mills
LAST week we reported the sentencing of a 10-year-old boy who headbutted a teacher and broke another's knee at a school in Orpington.
The boy was given a 12-month referral order.
Bromley Youth Court heard the boy, from St Mary Cray, went on the rampage after teachers confiscated a coin which he was scraping on his desk to make a noise.
His anger resulted in one teaching suffering concussion after a headbutt and another breaking her knee following a kick by the boy.
She later required an operation to reconstruct her knee, following the attacks at around 12.50pm on January 5.
The boy pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and unlawful wounding after previously denying both charges.
YOU may well be wondering which school in Orpington these horrific attacks took place at.
You may well be a parent, wondering if this school is a safe place to send your children.
You may well already know the name of the school - widely available in the public domain.
But due to reporting restrictions, and despite these legitimate concerns, we can't tell you.
Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act clearly states press reports of youth court proceedings must not contain particulars that might identify the child, such as the school's name.
These could however be waived on the grounds of public interest.
The district judge felt it was not in the public interest to allow us to reveal the school's name.
It is fair to say the incident was extremely serious which will have far-reaching ramifications not least for the boy and his victims - both experienced teachers in their 50s.
Parents - and prospective teachers and staff - will want to know that robust and proper procedures have been carried out at the school and that it is a place they can have confidence in sending their children.
His mother said in court: "They (the teachers) caused the situation. He's not a bad kid, so he won't be coming back to court."
But although the child no longer attends the school, and despite the fact the name had previously been published outside of court proceedings, we still can't tell you.
The context of this appalling crime extends far beyond the actions of a troubled 10-year-old boy.
No-one is blaming the school, but it ought not to escape public scrutiny in order to maintain the trust and confidence of parents in Orpington, starting with the publication of the school's name in your local newspaper.
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