LNK founder left in tears by response to teacher stabbing

The high-profile founder of a Croydon youth anti-knife crime group has reacted with horror to the violent death of Leeds teacher Anne Maguire this week, but also with grave disappointment at the manner that the media handled the shocking news of the classroom stabbing.

Anne Maguire: a Croydon anti-knife crime campaigner has been gravely disappointed at the way the leeds teacher's tragic death has been handled by the media

Anne Maguire: a Croydon anti-knife crime campaigner has been gravely disappointed at the way the leeds teacher’s tragic death has been handled by the media

Maguire was stabbed while at work in a classroom on Monday. A 15-year-old pupil from the school has been charged with murder and appeared in a youth court in Yorkshire yesterday.

Eliza Ribeiro set up Lives Not Knives six years ago in response to the youth crime she was encountering on the streets of Croydon. Now 20, Ribeiro has developed a national reputation for the pioneering work of LNK, and for her eloquent advocacy.

And when the first news reports of the tragic scenes at Corpus Christi Catholic College began to emerge on Monday, it was not long before Ribeiro began to be contacted by television stations, ostensibly seeking her “reaction”. In reality, what the broadcasters were fishing for was another “angle”, another talking head, someone to help them “move the story on” when the details and images from Leeds were being carefully controlled by the local police. Such are the perceived demands of 24/7 “rolling news”.

Ribeiro has written of how she received “three emails from three different television stations,” adding detail from the email: “‘Following the stabbing of the teacher in Leeds by one of her pupils, we are looking at what more could be done to prevent knives being taken into schools, and we would be very keen to talk to one of your ambassadors about their thoughts on that.’

“I cried,” Ribeiro wrote.

“Since 14 I’ve given advice, support and love to my community and from some friends but most importantly my mother and grandma I’ve received the same love back. Trying to make a change that helps benefit the world we live in and hearing real-life stories every day of how affected people are by knife crime does have an effect on me.

Eliza Rebeiro: stunned by media approaches to her

Eliza Rebeiro: stunned by media approaches to her

“How does a 15-year-old boy stab his teacher in front of his class? How does a journalist not use the name Anne Maguire when speaking on her tragic death?

“How does an organisation comment on what they can do to help in such a circumstance?”

Ribeiro says that she has been left speechless at the insensitive manner in which the media was seeking immediate answers to questions about the prevention of knife crime within hours of Maguire’s death. Is this, she asked, “what her family friends and pupils want to hear?”

“Let people cry, let people mourn and let people have feelings.

“I personally have no comment to make except that every piece of my heart is with her family right now.”

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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