A DECISION to drop charges against a 10-year-old yob who admitted stabbing a teacher in the chest with a pencil and assaulting two other staff was condemned last night by teaching unions.
The 38-year-old male teacher, who was left bleeding and in pain, had come to the aid of a woman colleague who had just been kicked by the boy in class.
It was the third time the baby-faced pupil, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had assaulted staff at the primary school in Blackpool, Lancashire.
But yesterday youth court proceedings against him were halted after police instead decided to give him a formal warning about his behaviour.
Teaching unions crit*icised the decision last night, saying not enough was done to protect staff from feral, yobbish pupils.
John Girdley, of the NASUWT, said: “When pupils attack teachers, we consider this totally unacceptable. Teachers are there to teach – they are not social workers and not police officers.
“The school should take very robust action indeed against a pupil, particularly one who repeats an assault. This is made all the more serious when a weapon is used, however primitive the weapon may seem.
“If one of our members came to us and said they wanted nothing more to do with this child, we would support them.”
Other unions suggested that injured staff should consider privately prosecuting the pupil or launching industrial action to make sure they never have to deal with him again.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers said: “When a teacher is assaulted we would hope the school would actively pursue prosecution.
“We would say that if there is an assault the pupil should not return to the school where it took place. If a teacher remains unhappy there is always the course of taking out a private prosecution.”
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The child first appeared before Blackpool youth court on New Year’s Eve on assault charges.
The most serious attack took place in a classroom in November last year when the boy kicked a woman staff member on the thigh.
As he was being taken to the school’s “quiet room” to calm down, he grabbed a pencil from a male teacher’s pocket and stabbed him in the chest with it. The teacher received hospital treatment for a puncture wound. Police were called and the yob was excluded from classes.
A decision was then made to charge the boy with the assaults, which he later admitted.
He had previously been reprimanded for kicking another woman teacher.
Neither the reprimand, nor the police warning, *carries any punishment.
Yesterday the boy visited Blackpool police station to receive the warning and did not go into court.
Prosecutor Angus Craigen told the hearing the charges had been withdrawn.
The boy’s lawyer, Trevor Colebourne, said: “My client has asked me to apologise to all three teachers. He is now in a different school.”
A member of staff said: “My *colleague was a lucky man. That pencil could have pierced a lung or even worse.”