Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Primary pupil suspended after breaking head's nose

A primary school pupil who broke his principal's nose when he head butted her has been suspended indefinitely from the school.

The young boy, who is attending St Mary's Boys' School in Limerick city, will not be allowed back until the school's board of management has discussed the assault.

No date has yet been set for the board's next meeting.

The principal, Geraldine Wallace, is not expected to return to her duties for at least the remainder of this week while she recovers from her injuries, which were inflicted on Monday at the school.

The Irish Independent revealed yesterday that the young boy, who is from a large family in Limerick, head butted Mrs Wallace and broke her nose when she leaned over to speak to him about a behavioural issue.

One bone was broken in the principal's nose, which will have to be reset when bruising and swelling have lessened.

Gardai were notified and arrived at the school, but they cannot prosecute the juvenile as he is below the age of criminal responsibility.

Yesterday, the boy remained suspended from the primary school in the King's Island area.

Staff have been in contact with Mrs Wallace, who is said to be making a good recovery.

Outside the school yesterday, parents who were collecting their children spoke highly of the injured principal and expressed a wish to see her back at work soon.

Behaviour

There are more than 100 pupils enrolled in the Limerick primary school and it has 14 staff, including one full-time and three part-time special needs assistants.

Joe Lyons of the Irish National Teachers Organisation said the attack on the principal was "an isolated incident".

However, he also said it highlighted the need to retain services such as special needs assistants (SNA) in the education system ahead of the upcoming Budget.

"It just shows the real need to have resources," said Mr Lyons.

"We hear that in this upcoming Budget that there are talks about scrapping 2,000 SNA jobs. If jobs like this are done away with, then those vulnerable children are going to be the ones who suffer -- and obviously their teachers and parents."

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