Cops probe second attack on pupil at acid assault school – as head takes “period of leave”


A TEENAGE girl suffered a fractured jaw and concussion in a vicious assault at the same school where a student burned a love rival with acid.

The 14-year-old victim of the most recent attack was punched and thrown against lockers by a boy at Knox Academy, Haddington, East Lothian.

It was at this school last year that Molly Young suffered serious burns when classmate Emily Bowen put drain cleaner in her viola case.

Knox Academy in Haddington, East Lothian

Police are now investigating the latest attack, which happened on Monday, August 28, and resulted in the victim being hospitalised.

And it emerged today (Thu) that the headteacher of the school, Sarah Ingham, went on a “period of leave” the same day as the violent incident.

Speaking to her local newspaper, the unamed youngster said: “I was going about my normal day when at break time I was chatting to other pupils and was punched and slapped on the face, my head was banged from locker to locker and I slumped to the floor.

The school hit headlines last year when one pupil was attacked by another with acid

“I can’t remember much from this point on. I was checked over at school and put into a wheelchair as I was very unsteady on my feet.”

The teenager added that she had been on the receiving end of bullying in the school for past two years and claimed the school had failed to take action.

She continued: “I now have severe anxiety and depression, leading me to not want to leave my house at times.

“I feel the way the school have has dealt with it has been appalling, they are full of promises to sort the bullying out and deal with the issues for me and it never helps.

“The thing that has appalled and hurt me is where is the support of the school?”

According to the girls parents, the school told them that the male pupil who attacked their daughter had “anger issues” and there was nothing they could do.

The youngsters father also revealed it wasn’t until sometime after the violent assault that it was known she had a broken jaw.

He told the same local newspaper: “We were at the orthodontist and he said there was a fracture to her jaw.

“When we had a meeting with the school they told us the pupil who attacked our daughter had anger issues and she just had to get on with things.

“She was off for a week and very reluctant to go back to school. Our concern is for our daughters welfare: there are problems at that school and they need to be addressed. It is not good enough.”

The school’s head, Sarah Ingham, went on an unexplained “period of leave” the same day. Students were given the news before going home.

In a statement on the school’s website, East Lothian’s education chief, Fiona Robertson, head of education in East Lothian, said: “Lauren Rodger, Head Teacher of North Berwick High School, will be leading and managing the school on an interim basis. We would like to re-assure all parents that East Lothian Council is fully supporting Knox Academy, ensuring high-quality learning and teaching continues to be provided for all pupils throughout this period.”

A Police Scotland statement on the most recent assault said: “Police in East Lothian received a report that a 14 year-old girl was the victim of an assault in Haddington on Monday, August 18 and enquiries into this are continuing.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson from East Lothian Council said they couldn’t comment whilst the police investigation is on-going but added they were aware of an alleged incident between two pupils at the school.

They said: “The safety of our children and young people is always paramount and our schools have clear policies and procedures in place to ensure any allegations are dealt with appropriately.”

In September last year Knox Academy was at the centre of an investigation after Molly Young was left “screaming in pain” when Emily Bowen poured acid into her viola case which then spilled down her leg.

Bowen had poured the drain cleaner into the instument case after she had found out the Molly had started dating her former boyfriend.

Earlier this year Bowen, now 18, was sentenced to 21 months behind bars at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after the judge described the attack as “utterly wicked”.

Angry parents of pupils and former pupils at the school today took to social media to accuse education bosses of failing to crack down on bad behaviour.

Kerry Brash wrote: “What an absolute joke! This poor girl attacked on school property and the school won’t do anything!

“The whole anti bullying policy needs looked at and actually used rather than teachers just fobbing parents off with poor excuses.”

Amanda Hunter said: “Anger issues or not the assailant needs to face sanctions – you cannot put the rest of the school at risk of this sort of behaviour”

Lynsey Mackenzie wrote: “Seriously?! Anger issues? I’ve got anger issues reading about more nonsense in that bloody school. No wonder parent have to take things into their own hands.”

Robert James said: “That school just gets worse.”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Miss Ingham has been a head teacher with East Lothian Council since August 2012 and describes her role as: “Responsibility for the smooth running and strategic direction of a school of 800+ pupils and 90 staff.”

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