Saturday, 3 July 2010

Welcome to my world....

But staff and neighbours told of a catalogue of fights and attacks in the school with youths from different gangs from across London brought together under one roof.

It has emerged that a Police Community Support Officer was attacked and chased by a group of youths outside the school the evening before the fatal stabbing.

Zac's murder is said to have followed a series of clashes between two rival teenage gangs known as the “Get Money Gangsters” – or the GMG – from Norwood and the “Gas Gang Crew” drawn from Brixton and Streatham.

Police believe four black males arrived in a car before the attack before they confronted Zac and another 14-year-old boy outside the school.

The teenage boys were chased into Gipsy Road Gardens, where Zac was repeatedly stabbed.

His 14-year-old companion then ran back to the school to seek safety but was attacked in the grounds of the school and stabbed in the arm.

I consider time I spent working in Brixton one of my greatest learning experiences (so far). The culture of violence in this area is difficult articulate, and the excuses that are made to 'cover-up' this behaviour is even more difficult to understand.

Park Campus deals with some of London’s most troubled teenagers, who have been excluded from mainstream education, and was hailed as the first of its kind in the country when it opened two years ago.

With bright, open classrooms arranged around a central garden, it was deliberately designed to reduce aggression and behavioural problems.

Its 90 pupils enjoy state-of-the-art sports facilities, have access to wireless internet and are encouraged to grow vegetables in the school grounds.

All the carrots in the world could not save these kids. Self-respect, discipline and safety do not magically fall on you like fairy-dust as you walk through the doors of a brand-new facility with wireless internet. Until people understand that this cause is hopeless.