July 28, 2004
"I don't think the school has enough power to get rid of these people"

It's been all over the front pages for days, and finally I have a comment to offer that goes beyond saying: how appalling.

THE mother of murdered schoolboy Luke Walmsley yesterday branded his killer an "evil bully".

Heartbroken Jayne Walmsley spoke out after Alan Pennell, 16, was sentenced to at least 12 years in jail for killing her 14-year-old son.

Judge Mr Justice Goldring told him he could serve longer if he didn't show remorse.

He said: "In your pocket was a flick knife. I have seen it and it is an evil weapon. You thrust the knife into his chest.
"It was not done in the spur of the moment.

"Although giving evidence you expressed remorse ... I find it difficult to accept."

Mrs Walmsley, 41, said she didn't blame staff at Birkbeck School in North Somercotes, Lincs, for her son's death on November 4 last year.

She said: "He was just an evil boy who was a bully. It was always younger children he picked on. I don't think the school has enough power to get rid of these people."

I generally dislike the modern tabloid habit of deferring to and publicising the legislative opinions of the bereaved, and of crafting new laws in honour of their loved ones, instead of tombstones. But what if Mrs Walmsley's a change in the law to allow schools to expel dangerous bullies more easily than they can now were to be her chosen memorial for her dead son? I just might change my mind about this practice.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:24 PM
Category: BullyingExclusion