Waid Academy: video of violent attack whips up ‘furore’ and call for meeting
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The graphic footage sparked a huge debate, as well as what Councillor Sean Dillon described as “rumours and gossip which needs to be put to rest once and for all.”
He condemned the violence, and urged all agencies involved to come together and speak face-to-face with parents and carers.
He said: “This will give our community the chance to have their concerns voiced in a calm and respectful manner and dispel any false information surrounding recent events.”
The Anstruther school has been in the eye of a storm since reports of the incident made headlines earlier this week.
Four North-East Fife Lib Dem politicians, including Willie Rennie MSP and Wendy Chamberlain MP, issued went public with a joint statement after approaches from parents concerned about behaviour at the school.
They included Councillor Dillon who attended Waid.
He has written to Councillor Cara Hilton, Fife Council’s education spokesperson, and Carrie Lindsay, head of education, to ask them to meet with parents to explain the context behind the videos of violent outbursts by pupils.
He said: “As a former pupil of Waid Academy, I am shocked and deeply troubled that the violence I saw on recordings sent to me by concerned residents could happen in a school that was once held up as an example of the high standard of education we can achieve in Fife.
“While I fully believe that the events of the last few days should not reflect poorly on the hard-working staff and pupils at Waid, it is understandable that parents have concerns about the wellbeing of our children and young people which need to be addressed.
“The furore whipped up in our community and on social media has led to rumours and gossip which needs to be put to rest once and for all. I am calling on representatives of all agencies involved to come together and speak face-to-face with parents and carers. This will give our community the chance to have their concerns voiced in a calm and respectful manner and dispel any false information surrounding recent events.
I look forward to working with council officials and the administration to ensure that this happens in the coming days.”
In their joint statement, the Lib Dems said: "Violence in any environment is distressing and ugly but in a place where minds should be focused on improvement and learning it is deeply alarming. We have heard directly from parents about their concerns about behaviour especially in recent weeks.
“We have been corresponding with the local authority and the school to be assured that the school leaders are taking all the appropriate steps to de-escalate the situation and also to provide our support.
“We will be having further meetings over the next few days but also months as this requires a long term focus.”