Belfast Telegraph

Principal's of 'profound shock' in wake of stabbing at Larne Grammar

Police at Larne Grammar School after the stabbing incident earlier this month
Police at Larne Grammar School after the stabbing incident earlier this month
Principal Jonathan Wylie

By David O'Dornan

The principal of Larne Grammar School has spoken of the "profound shock" that still exists a week after one of his pupils was charged with stabbing another.

Jonathan Wylie has sent a letter out to parents in which he told them he was "struggling to come to terms with the realisation that such an event could take place within our school". He described it as "one of the most traumatic events imaginable".

Last week a 13-year-old boy was charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and will appear before Ballymena Youth Court on January 22.

He had been arrested after reports that a pupil was stabbed at Larne Grammar on Tuesday, January 7 and the victim - a Year 10 pupil - was taken to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children where his condition was reported as stable.

Mr Wylie's letter said: "I wanted to write following on from the events of last week. I am very aware of the need to keep the members of our school community informed and, in doing so, attempt to provide necessary reassurance.

"At the same time, I am conscious of the need to avoid making any comment which could be prejudicial to an ongoing police investigation and of the importance of showing sensitivity and respect for the privacy of those involved.

"Our overriding emotion continues to be one of profound shock. The unprecedented incident which took place last week was so far removed from our everyday experience of life in LGS that we're struggling to come to terms with the realisation that such an event could take place within our school.

"However, over the past number of days, there has been a real sense of the other members of the school community coming together.

"The family ethos of the school has been very strongly in evidence as staff, pupils, parents and governors have provided each other with care, compassion, support and encouragement."

Mr Wylie, who is in his eighth school year as principal, said he has been inundated by messages from well-wishers and added that he will continue to pray that the pupil who was injured will make a full recovery.

He said: "I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support that we have received from parents and others, many of which are highlighting that last week's incident is neither a true reflection of our school nor, most importantly, of the pupils.

"Paradoxically, the events of the past week have reinforced, rather than diminished, my belief in our pupils and our school. This does not, in any way, minimise the seriousness of the incident or the impact it has had on our community and on the lives of families and individuals.

"We will continue to offer support and comfort to those who need it. In particular, we will continue to keep the pupil who sustained the injury in our thoughts and prayers."

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