Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LE ROCQUIER SCHOOL - CULTURE OF CONCEALMENT -SCRUTINY -3










EDUCATION MINISTER -DEPUTY RYAN

ASSISTANT MINISTER ROY LE HERRISIER




"LE ROCQUIER SCHOOL - CULTURE OF CONCEALMENT - 3"



"THE SHOOTING PISTOL INCIDENT"




AN UPDATE.


"Dear VFC
I am on vacation this week hence my slow reply. However - it was clear from my answers in the assembly that the internal disciplinary inquiry into the teacher's behaviour is confidential as are all disciplinary hearings for States employees. Please check with the relevant unions for confirmation. This matter is complete and closed as far as I am concerned. I will not be replying to any more emails on this." Education Minister



We, at Team Voice, had a meeting on Monday 28th October with the Chair of the Education and Home Affairs scrutiny panel Deputy Maçon. Also present was panel member Deputy Tadier and Scrutiny Officer Mike Haden.  The meeting lasted for roughly 1 hour.  I don't want to discuss what happened at the meeting in any great lengths at present as we are still awaiting some answers but I will say it was very productive. There is no better way than having face to face meetings - this cuts out a lot of time with bouncing emails back and forth - or not as the case might be. Why did some members vote against hearing from a member of the public? A person takes the time to go down to Scrutiny and they vote against hearing what the person has to say. I repeat they didn't even want to hear what the concerns might be - this simply can't be right. Talk about not wanting to engage with the public.



Both sides agreed that there are many questions that remained unanswered concerning this serious incident that resulted in a teacher being found guilty in the magistrate court and find a thousand ponds. There are lot of issues concerning what Scrutiny can and cannot do. This must be looked at. It's simply not good enough that the Education Department can investigate the Education Department and the two reports remain secret. This is the culture that must be changed. The protection of children must be open and transparent and at the very least and independent body must be able to look if Policy and Procedures have been followed to the book. Below is an email exchange between Team Voice - Education Minister, Deputy Ryan and his Assistant Minister Deputy Roy Le Herrissier. The Education Minister makes it quite plain what his position is on this serious incident.

You will notice that the email exchange starts on the 22nd October 2013. Also take note at how hard it is to get answers. We are talking about a serious incident. Have we learnt anything since Operation Rectangle? The secrecy must stop. Who has oversight of Education if not the Scrutiny Panel? But as will be looked at in future posts they say their hands are tied on this.  



From: VFC
Cc: Rico Sorda <ricosorda@yahoo.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, 22 October 2013, 16:33
Subject: Evidence/statements

Minister, and DEPUTY MINISTER (so Roy knows what hat to put on).

After listening to the Education Minister's "answers" today in the States in relation to the outrageous school shooting, I was hoping one of you could help me with something?

Naturally I was horrified when I learnt that none of the child witnesses were interviewed by anybody concerning the "internal" (secret) disciplinary investigation of the teacher.

The Minister said this is because the children gave evidence/statements to the police investigation and the "internal" investigators could draw on those statements so there was no need to interview the children again.

Going by this "logic", I take it that the teacher wasn't interviewed by the "internal" investigation either, because he too gave evidence/statement to police that could have been drawn on for the "internal" investigation?

Could one of you (remember what hat you're wearing Roy) please confirm that the teacher, as the child, was not interviewed either?

VFC.  




On 22 October 2013 19:15,

 Le Herissier <leheriss@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

Dear Mr. Voice Thanks for this and for bearing my confusion in mind.
If there is anything to add, I'm sure the Minister will be in touch,
Roy Le H



VFC
To Le Herissierp.ryan@gov.jeMe

22 Oct

Roy.

The last time I e-mailed the Minister, I recall having to wait in excess of a week just for an acknowledgement of the e-mail!

I'll not hold my breath in getting a reply and thank you for yours, although you didn't address my concern/answer my question.

This is how HDLG was able to be used as a paedophile play pen for decades. Nothing in Jersey's culture has changed has it?

VFC. 


VFC
To Le Herissierp.ryan@gov.jeMe

Oct 29 at 12:19 PM

Roy (Assistant Minister)

A week has now past and the Minister has not so much as acknowledged my e-mail as I had predicted and I am now having to consider a complaint against him to PPC.

Is this really the way to treat concerned members of the public? I'm sure the Minister would be the first to complain if he gets doorstepped!

VFC


Le Herissier
To VFC .ryan@gov.jeMe

Oct 29 at 5:16 PM

Mr Voice
Many thanks.
I cannot account for Dep Ryan's E Mails but I can confirm that he takes this matter very seriously
Roy Le H
.


vfc
To Le Herissierp.ryan@gov.jeMe

Oct 29 at 5:23 PM

Roy.

This is a Minister who thinks the possibility of having a Child Abuse suspect as as a Senior Civil Servant in his Department has nothing to do with him and is the responsibility of a body that doesn't even exist (as you do). He ignores my e-mails and you are "confirming" he takes Child Protection seriously?

You'll forgive me if I think you might be taking the p1ss out of me won't you?

VFCl.



On 29 October 2013 17:47, Patrick Ryan <P.Ryan@gov.je> wrote:

Dear VFC
I am on vacation this week hence my slow reply. However - it was clear from my answers in the assembly that the internal disciplinary inquiry into the teacher's behaviour is confidential as are all disciplinary hearings for States employees. Please check with the relevant unions for confirmation. This matter is complete and closed as far as I am concerned. I will not be replying to any more emails on this.

Kind Regards
Patrick Ryan



VFC
To Patrick RyanRoy Le HerissierJeremy Macon and 1 More...

Oct 29 at 6:03 PM

Minister.

If you are on vacation then might I suggest you put up an "out of office" e-mail reply in order to inform the public you are not ignoring them? You do have that facility and there is no reason why you shouldn't use it. There are a huge amount of questions surrounding this very suspicious and secret internal inquiry that WILL be getting asked.

I would ask that you reconsider your position and engage with me (a concerned member of the public) in order to assure me, and possibly my Blog readers, that Child Protection issues are dealt with differently now to how they were during the Haut de la Garenne era.

So far it looks exactly the same where secret "investigations" are going on, the public are told "nothing to see here move on" and then ignored when attempting to make sense of something that makes no sense at all. 

So I would ask that you don't ignore my e-mails and deal with this issue in an adult, open and democratic manner?

VFC. 

End



Where does that leave us I ask. Make no mistake Team Voice will not be letting this go nor will the good Deputy, T Pitman. But what of Scrutiny? Is anyone really scrutinising what is happening in their respective States Department? On Friday 25th October I caught a little segment on BBC Radio Jersey. I have put the audio up below. It concerns the General Hospital and the bashing that Southampton Hospital received in a recently published report. Have a listen. Even the presenter Matthew Price couldn't believe what he was hearing.  



Is Scrutiny really equipped to scrutinise a Hospital is running safely? Especially after the JEP put this online last week. Granted it is from the JEP but I been assured that their piece was accurate.



‘Bungling’ nurse left to work on
Saturday 26th October 2013, 2:00PM BST.

A HOSPITAL nurse accused of risking patient safety through massive incompetence was allowed to continue treating Islanders months after serious allegations against her first surfaced.
Josaphine Seymour is facing disciplinary action from the UK’s nursing regulator for allegedly putting patients on Beauport and Portelet Wards in jeopardy through 78 failings on 19 separate occasions.
A Heath spokesman said: ‘Health and Social Services is aware of this case. Beyond that it would not be appropriate to comment while an individual is going through an investigation process with the regulatory body for their profession.’
I thank BBC Jersey and the VFC technical department for the below audio 


Rico Sorda

Part Time Investigative Journalist

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LE ROCQUIER SCHOOL 'CULTURE OF CONCEALMENT' - SCRUTINY 2























"LE ROCQUIER SCHOOL - CULTURE OF CONCEALMENT"



"THE SCHOOL SHOOTING"


"5.9 Senator S.C. Ferguson:

The Minister said that after the incident with the starting pistol, all starting pistols were removed from the school.  It is not the starting pistols that were causing the problem, it was the teacher.  [Approbation]  Would it not have been better to make sure all teachers knew procedures to do with starting pistols without taking away something which is totally harmless and unless it is used incorrectly?  Does he really think this is a good psychological approach?

The Deputy of St. John:MINISTER OF EDUCATION:
Yes.



"TEAM VOICE GO IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS"



" SCRUTINY REPLY "


"This case appears to have been an isolated though serious incident in which a member of staff committed a breach of conduct for which he has been disciplined. This is not in itself evidence of a systematic failure of a policy by the Department"




" IT LEFT US SHOCKED"




"BELOW  IS THE EMAIL EXCHANGE AND THE REPLY FROM SCRUTINY"


THIS IS THE EDUCATION AND HOME AFFAIRS SCRUTINY PANEL:


Chairman - Deputy MAÇON 

Deputy TADIER

Deputy SOUTHERN

Connetable LE TROQUER




There comes a time when people have got to decide if Child Protection is important and is it worth fighting for.  

This has been one of those week's when you really do question your own beliefs and if you are doing the right thing. There can be no doubt that this has been one of those week's.  We, at Team Voice, have been trying to get the Le Rocquier School incident scrutinised by the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel.  I want to show  readers what we have been through to get this achieved or not as the case might be.  There have been some serious failings at the school. I will be highlighting these on our next posting. 



ARE THE CHILDREN REALLY SAFE WHEN IT GOES WRONG??



THE EMAILS 

Please take the time to follow the email chain all the way through to it's conclusion.  It ends with the decision made by Scrutiny. This is Child Protection we are talking about here. 




From: VFC
Date: 10 October 2013 14:32
Subject: Scrutiny/Child protection.
To: "j.macon" <j.macon@gov.je>, m.letroquer@gov.je, "g.southern" <g.southern@gov.je>, monty <montz_uk@yahoo.com>


Dear all.

I contact you in your role as members of the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel.

Could I point you to my latest Blog Posting here http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.com/2013/10/school-shooting-in-jersey-exclusive.html and ask that as a panel you investigate what has been able to transpire here?

A teacher is found guilty of discharging an imitation firearm at an indoor five a side football match of all places. The mother was not notified by the school of the incident, (that injured her child) the child was not taken to hospital by the school (but was by the mother). The teacher apparently claimed in court that it was "a prank" (funny). The Education Department conducts one of its infamous "internal investigations" and the teacher goes back to school.

There are a multitude of questions that need answering here and I hope you, as a panel, will break the tradition of ignoring child protection issues on this island and review, all that needs reviewing in this case.

I would like to discuss this further by offering oral evidence to the panel if you would like to give me a convenient time and venue?

Kind Regards.





From: Montfort 
Date: 10 October 2013 17:45
Subject: Re: Scrutiny/Child protection.


Hello VFC,

Thank you for your email. I will let the Chairman respond on behlaf of the Panel, but I am sure we will be discussing your suggestion at the next panel meeting.

Kind regards,

Montfort





VFC
To j.maconm.letroquer@gov.jeg.southern and 2 More...

Oct 17 at 3:47 PM

Dear all.

Since submitting my concerns in an e-mail a week ago all I have received is a reply from Montfort telling me he is sure the panel will be discussing them at the next panel meeting.

I have offered to supply oral evidence to your panel concerning a major child protection issue and have, by the looks of it, been ignored. I have no idea when your next meeting is or if I am to be invited to it? Indeed why do you have to wait until your next meeting before discussing this issue?

If we are to believe that child protection is now taken seriously on the Island, in light of the Haut de la Garenne/Savile atrocities, then why has the panel - set up to scrutinise - the policies and procedures of the Education Department remained so silent?

Please treat these concerns with the seriousness they deserve and start communicating with members of the public who bring these concerns to your attention?

Or is it, in reality, that the very same culture that enabled the HDLG atrocities to occur for DECADES is the exact same culture as we have now?

I look forward to a prompt, and meaningful, reply.

Kind Regards.




Michel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN)
To VFC Jeremy Macon Geoffrey Southern and 2 More...

Oct 17 at 5:29 PM

Thanks VFC,

Our next meeting is planned for Monday 21st October and I already have it down as an agenda item at “any other business”.
I’m sure the Chairman will be making a decision at that meeting and either he or our Scrutiny Officer will be updating you after the meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Michel Le Troquer.




VFC
To Michel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN)Jeremy MaconGeoffrey Southern and 2 More...

Oct 17 at 5:39 PM

Connetable.

Thank you for your reply from which I assume you won't be inviting me to the meeting in order to give further oral evidence?

Kind Regards.





Michel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN)
To VFC Jeremy MaconGeoffrey Southern and 2 More...

Oct 17 at 5:53 PM

Thanks for the reply and your query.
No, Monday is our routine monthly meeting  during which we also have a part public period with the Minister of ES&C.
We would not be interviewing or hearing from members of the public on Monday.
However during our meeting we will review your emails and advise you of our decision as to how we intend to proceed.
Michel Le T



VFC
To Michel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN)Jeremy MaconGeoffrey Southern and 2 More...

Oct 17 at 6:02 PM

Connetable.

I would ask that the panel doesn't reach a decision NOT to proceed without hearing my oral evidence?

Kind Regards.




RICO SORDA
To Michel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN)Jeremy Macon and 2 More...

Oct 17 at 6:13 PM

Dear Members,

This is serious, and where have you been? 

As you will know, along with VFC I have been investigating the Child Abuse Cover-Up in Jersey for many years now. This incident left me horrified for a number of reasons. Let us concentrate on the actions of the school in question - from the very moment the teacher grabbed the starting pistol to the moment the young child went home to his mother.

Procedure - was procedure followed?  What are the laid down procedures for a school to follow incase of serious accident/incident? 

I hear there has been an internal investigation? What was it's terms of reference? Who headed it? Why wasn't it independent? We should have moved away from this culture a very long time ago. I have published the Mothers account below. Here the mother explains what happened that day. Remember a firearm was discharged - a child was injured - nothing allegedly was reported to the head-teacher or mother and there was an internal investigation. This isn't funny. Now is the time for action and answers. 

We must protect the children of jersey. 



There are many more questions that seriously need answers but will leave it there for now.

Rico Sorda



Jeremy Macon
To VFC Mike HadenMichel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN) and 3 More...

Oct 18 at 8:36 AM

Mike, would it be possible so hear from VFC at some point after out public hearing with the Minister?

I know that Scrutiny can not look at individual cases, though the overlying policies that govern this might need to be looked at. Individual complaints about individuals need to be directed towards the States Employment Board it's their remit of human resources.

Kind regards,
Jeremy



VFC
To Jeremy MaconMike HadenMichel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN) and 3 More...


Oct 18 at 5:38 PM

Dear all.

I'm not sure if Mr. Haden replied to Jeremy's last e-mail but I've not received it if he did.

Am I able to meet with the panel on Monday after its scheduled meeting with the Education Minister?

Kind Regards.


VFC
To Jeremy MaconMike HadenMichel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN) and 3 More...

Oct 20 at 12:42 PM

Dear all.

After two days since my last e-mail not one of you has even acknowledged it let alone replied to it. Could I remind you all that this is a major child protection issue that needs addressing and getting any kind of a response from the panel who are tasked with scrutinising the Education Department, and its policies, is like pulling teeth.

Please treat this issue (child protection) with the seriousness that it deserves and stop ignoring e-mails from those who do take it seriously?

I ask AGAIN; am I able to come and give oral evidence to the Panel tomorrow, if not, why not, and if so what time and where?

Kind Regards.

VFC


Mike Haden
To  VFC Jeremy MaconMichel Le Troquer (Connetable POSMN) and 3 More...

Oct 21 at 9:08 AM


Dear VFC

The Panel has been considering your message but has not yet reached a decision. I will be in touch with you later today once the Panel members have had the opportunity to discuss the matter at today’s meeting.

Kind regrads




After all that VFC attended the Scrutiny Hearing on Monday 21st October. He waited 11/2 hours and was then refused to give oral evidence. He was then sent on his way.  We have waited until today, the 23rd October,to get a reply. The reply we received was unbelievable. 







Scrutiny Office


23 October 2013

Dear VFC

The Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel has considered your request in your email of 17 October 2013 that we should undertake an investigation into the manner in which the Education Department has dealt with the incident at Le Rocquier School in which a teacher discharged an imitation firearm in a school lesson injuring a pupil.

We recognise that this was a serious incident and note that the matter has been taken up already by an independent States Member who has asked a series of questions in the States on the matter, including one on the Order Paper dated 21st October 2013. We believe that it is appropriate that questions should be pursued and the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture should be held to account in this way. 

As a Scrutiny Panel, however, we are unable to get involved in individual cases for the following reasons:
  • The Scrutiny Code of Practice (paragraph 7.14) precludes Panels from dealing with disciplinary issues. 
  • There is an established complaints procedure which allows members of the public to make a complaint about a decision or administration process by any minister or department of the States. Members of the public may seek a States member to represent them in putting forward their evidence to the Complaints Board. Again Scrutiny Panels are precluded from involvement in the complaints procedure (para 7.11). 
Scrutiny Panels are empowered to deal with general issues of policy and procedure leading to an improved service to the public. This case appears to have been an isolated though serious incident in which a member of staff committed a breach of conduct for which he has been disciplined. This is not in itself evidence of a systematic failure of a policy by the Department, leading to the exposure of students to continued danger. The matter has also been the subject of judicial proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court. The Minister has now acted to change procedures relating to the use of starting pistols in schools. 

If you have evidence of a systematic policy failure by the department in the conduct of disciplinary cases we would consider a submission from you. Otherwise, I regret that we are unable to comply with your request to intervene in this matter.

Yours sincerely

Deputy Jeremy Maçon
Chairman, 
Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel





Who has responsibility for Scrutinising Policy and Procedures of the Jersey Education System if it's not Scrutiny? I really want readers to think about this. I want readers to think about the safety of their children when they leave them at the school gates and something goes wrong. This is horrendous. Remember the child reported the incident. Not the teachers, the headmaster or anyone else for that matter. Now we have two internal investigations underway. Education investigating Education. The two reports are to remain secret. The 'Culture of Concealment'  is alive and kicking. Nothing has been learnt. We have had question after question about the size of classrooms this week but nothing about the safety of children in school




Scrutiny even say leave it to Deputy T Pitman seeing as he is asking some questions. Are they seriously extracting the urine from him, you, me and any other concerned person out there. 


"This case appears to have been an isolated though serious incident in which a member of staff committed a breach of conduct for which he has been disciplined. This is not in itself evidence of a systematic failure of a policy by the Department"



Can you believe that. Have they not read what went on. The Teachers didn't report it THE CHILD REPORTED IT. The teachers involved kept quiet.  What is the policies of an accident happening at school that ends with a child in accident and emergency, the police being called, the teacher being warned that he faces a possible custodial sentence, then gets fined £1,000 pounds and all the teachers involved remained silent? 



Here is our reply to today's Scrutiny announcement.




VFC
To Mike HadenMeg.southern and 2 More...

Today at 3:56 PM

Mr. Haden.

Thank you for this predictable excuse of a cop out from the Panel. This is no reflection on you.

For the record It should be noted that on a number of occasions in the e-mail exchanges with the Panel I have asked for the opportunity to submit oral evidence to them. This request has been ignored all through the e-mails, and in this letter from them. I even turned up at their last meeting and had to endure an hour and a half of them massaging the ego of Mario Lundy in the hope I could meet with the Panel, after their meeting, in order to offer oral evidence. This as you know was refused  me.

If I would have been granted the opportunity to offer my oral evidence this confusion (cop out) could never have happened. It now makes sense why the Panel REFUSED to meet with me. My concern, as the Panel well knows, is about policy and procedure, not this individual discipline case.

In a post-HDLG era the Panel should be absolutely ashamed of themselves after demonstrating our children are no safer now than they were then.

It's only a matter of time before we have another HDLG.

As mentioned earlier Mr Haden, none of this is a reflection on you who I have always found to be professional in your approach to scrutiny.




Team Voice will not be letting this matter lie. 


Nothing has changed in Jersey.


Rico Sorda - Team Voice

Part Time Investigative Journalist 

Monday, October 21, 2013

LE ROCQUIER SCHOOL - CULTURE OF CONCEALMENT - SCRUTINY -1



DEPUTY MAÇON  - CHAIR EDUCATION AND HOME AFFAIRS  SCRUTINY PANEL

DEPUTY TADIER

DEPUTY SOUTHERN

CONSTABLE LE TROQUER




FRANCES MARY ALDHAM QC 



THE NOMINATED CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE OF ENQUIRY SUBJECT TO STATES APPROVAL 



BUT DOES THE CULURE OF CONCEALMENT STILL EXIST?



The LE ROCQUIER SCHOOL 'STARTING PISTOL' INCIDENT...


"I asked him what had happened and he said "(teacher’s name) shot me in the face with a starter pistol" I could not believe my ears! I thought when you sent your child to school they were in a safe place!! I then went on to ask him numerous questions including why had I not been contacted by the school, what time did it happen, did he not get to medical and A&E? Once it had all registered I asked him how exactly it happened and did anyone else see what happened and when it happened?"




This horrific incident was first broken my Deputy T Pitman and can be read here:






After everything we have been through since 'Operation Rectangle' the investigation into decades long child abuse in the Jersey care system I would say yes.  Team Voice have been alarmed at the horrific incident at Le Rocquier School concerning the discharging of a starting pistol during a five -a- side game. I simply find it amazing that this has not raised serious questions across the board. The Jersey media should have looked at this incident and asked some probing questions but we have heard nothing. The only probing questions that have been asked have come from Deputy T Pitman in the States of Jersey and Team Voice. 


We, at Team Voice, have now decided to ask the probing questions. We are looking at Policy & Procedure concerning a serious child protection issue. When a parent leaves their child at the school gates  they are doing so in the belief that their child is in safe hands and that there are policies and procedures in place to ensure their safety ( In loco parentis ) 



We are in contact with the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel who are tasked with scrutinising policy and procedure of the Education Department. Team Voice are looking for answers on what can only be best described as alleged serious failings at Le Rocquier School/Education Department.    This concerns the actions of all the teachers involved in this horrific incident - from the very moment the starting pistol entered the hand of the teacher, the young child going home to their mother and subsequently ending up at the Accident and Emergency at the General Hospital. 


Just so readers know what happened that day on the 13th May 2013 please read the harrowing account from the mothers perspective. Doesn't she and all parents/guardians demand answers. We know that an internal investigation (behind closed doors) was carried out by the Education Department and that no one has been privy to it's findings. This is the very culture that has got us into this mess in the first place. What lessons have been learnt since Operation Rectangle? In the absence of anybody else asking questions, apart from Deputy Pitman, Team Voice have had to step into the breech. 


The Education & Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel chaired by Deputy Mácon with Deputy Tadier - Deputy Southern and Connétable Le Troquer will be sitting tomorrow. They have assured us that our concerns will be raised at the meeting where Team Voice have asked to give oral evidence but as of going to press we are still awaiting confirmation as to wether they will accept our evidence. We have been asking since the 10th October to provide the panel with evidence. This request has so far  been largely ignored. 


We will be keeping our readers updated on all issues regarding this most serious of incidents. 


We can't just let this pass without investigation. 


Education investigating Education - Have we learnt nothing?


I will leave you with this. Have we reached a point in Jersey when even the discharging of a starting pistol that ended up with a child in A&E is just brushed aside. If a teacher can do this, be find £1,000 in the Magistate Court, return to work after an internal investigation what is the precedent being set? 

Think about it.


Rico Sorda



Part Time Investigative Journalist





Incident at school on Monday 13th May 2013

"I came home from work on what I thought was a normal day until my son came in from school after catching the bus home and said to me "You will never guess what happened to me at school today" I looked at him and saw that he had a bloodshot eye and black specks all over his face.

I asked him what had happened and he said "(teacher’s name) shot me in the face with a starter pistol" I could not believe my ears! I thought when you sent your child to school they were in a safe place!! I then went on to ask him numerous questions including why had I not been contacted by the school, what time did it happen, did he not get to medical and A&E? Once it had all registered I asked him how exactly it happened and did anyone else see what happened and when it happened?

My son then went on to tell me it was during his 2nd lesson of the day, he was playing 5 aside football in the sports hall, (why would a teacher be in possession of a starter pistol at an indoor 5 a side football match?) was talking to his mate and something made him turn around and as he did he was temporarily blinded by what hit him in the eye. He told me that The teacher quickly took him into the toilets to go and wash his eye and face and then when they came back into the hall (teacher’s name) told the class that none of them were to repeat what had just happened to anyone or he would get the sack.

My Son then went to medical to seek advice about his eye and saw the head of P.E. at the same time and told him what had just happened. After this he took him back to class where, my son told me, 5 of his classmates told him that (teacher’s name) had said just before he pulled the trigger "watch this I'm going to shoot "pupil x"

As soon as I heard the full story I was straight on the phone to the school to speak to the head teacher, when I asked him why I had not been contacted, the moment this had happened (the second class of the day) he told me he knew nothing about the incident and would have to go off and speak to his staff and come back to me, which he did within minutes.

I then took my son to A&E to get his eye checked which clearly should have been done via school that morning but WAS NOT.

I then took it upon myself the following morning to get in contact with the Education Department to report it and I also reported it to the police. 
I still need a lot of questions answered, which include: -

Why did a teacher have access to a gun?

Why did he have it in an enclosed environment during a 5 aside football lesson?

Why was I not contacted for such a major incident in a school?

Why was the headmaster not informed?

My son and my family feel let down by the school and the Education Department; when answering questions in the States from Deputy Trevor Pitman, the Education Minister had said that I had been kept informed of the case throughout. This is not how I see it because you can imagine my horror when I discovered the teacher had been allocated a class to teach this term (school roster sent to parents). This is after he had been found guilty in the magistrate’s court of discharging a firearm and still subject to an internal investigation. It was only as a result of Deputy Pitman’s question I discovered the rosters were printed some four months earlier.

I would have hoped the Education Department would have warned me about (teacher’s name) appearing on the roster, if the Department were keeping me informed as Deputy Ryan said it was.

Deputy Ryan also said, in the states, that my son had made a full recovery. If he was talking in the physical sense he could be right but this episode has had a lasting damaging emotional effect on our whole family who has lost confidence in the school and the department and I no longer feel my children are safe at school.

I have also discovered, partly due to Deputy Pitman’s questions, that the teacher, or the terrifying incident, is subject of an internal enquiry. I have not been told what the Terms of reference are for this enquiry, is it a disciplinary enquiry, a procedural enquiry, what is it if I am being kept informed I should have been told this."(END)






Sunday, October 13, 2013

BBC JERSEY - MATTHEW PRICE - BRUCE WILLING







"BBC RADIO JERSEY"



"THE MATTHEW PRICE SHOW"



"AN INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE WILLING"










On the 11th October 2013 Matthew Price interviewed Bruce Willing on his breakfast show concerning the issues surrounding the alleged Abuse Victim HG - the various reports - the forthcoming reports  and  the Dean of Jersey. This all relates to the previous suspension of the Dean of Jersey, the Very Reverend Bob Key, and the Korris report. 


The issues surrounding this whole affair have become vast when really it should only be about the alleged victim and safeguarding within  the Church of England. 


This brings me to the Bruce Willing interview conducted by Matthew Price on the 11th October. Now, Bruce Willing is certainly entitled to his opinion, and he  gave it, but the interview concerned me for a number of reasons. I was alarmed at how Bruce Willing was banding around Mental Health issues just to strengthen his argument. I noticed that he stated that he is a former church warden, just like the alleged abuser, so he might not be coming from a neutral position. He alleges that the Dean was hung out to dry without good reason - but if one looks at the Korris report there would seem to be ample reason for the suspension (a neutral act) and let us not forget that the Dean himself refused to take part in the Korris Report.  


Alleged victim "H.G."

Bob Key "R.K."

Page 9.

5 days later R.K responded from his dean of jersey work email account saying, “I have not been able to access my gov.je email for a few days so have only just found this”.This seems disingenuous as H.G. had not sent her email to that address. It implies that Dean R.K. had just discovered its contents whereas it is highly likely that he had already discussed it with other recipients, not least with Vicar





Page 17.

On the subject of requesting a church warden to relinquish his duties Dean R.K. expressed concern about how the people on Jersey would react. Later R.K. reported, “In Jersey there is a real feeling that suspending someone reverses the burden of proof in the public mind. Instead of our much cherished ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the suspended person becomes thought of (no matter what those in authority may say), as ‘Guilty until exonerated’

Page 23.

H.G. felt disbelieved and publicly humiliated. In reaction to her sense of getting no adequate response to any of the issues she raised she appealed to the higher authority of the Bishop, to Lambeth Palace, and to the media in the form of BBC Jersey, all to no effect. Following this she went on a much publicised offensive against any number of people connected to the Church.

Page 25.

Following this H.G. was arrested for breaking a harassment order, brought before the magistrate and as she had no money, was at that time of no fixed abode and appeared mentally distressed, she was remanded in custody.

Safeguarding Advisor J.F. records her concern at these extreme measures and worked at setting up care for her with the prison chaplain. She is shocked when on 11th October H.G. was bound over and summarily deported from the Island for three years and put on a plane with no-one to meet her, no planned accommodation and no money. J.F. wrote to Bishop Michael, “Whilst I don’t think this is our responsibility in that the court decision and action was not of our making, I do feel we have a basic responsibility, as we would have for anyone, to do all we can to ensure her wellbeing

Page 33.

There seems to be no spirit of willingness or inquiry in this matter. I found that some of the Island clergy had been actively discouraged by the Dean of Jersey from fully engaging with me and therefore complying with the Bishop’s request.

Page 37

However, as a result of the absence, or withholding, of records on Jersey and Dean R.K.’s resistance to co-operate with my requests, against the expressed desire of his Bishop, I have had to look more deeply into the possible reasons for this and comment upon whether there are disciplinary matters involved.

Page 37

The Church let H.G. down. Despite the difficulties of her background and disablement, and struggle with some everyday practicalities, H.G. was none-the-less in employment, pursuing hobbies, socializing and wanting to be accepted in the church community. Over the next three years H.G.’s life changed from having no history of being in trouble with the law, to having a police record and being a displaced person, homeless on the streets of the mainland.
Page 38.

Dean R.K. has not refuted H.G.’s description of their meeting. The only witness was Dean R.K.’s personal assistant who is his wife and she has refused to be interviewed for this Review.

Page 40.

Safeguarding Advisor J.F. described the annual training sessions on Safeguarding she had offered on Jersey over the past seven or eight years. She was not aware that the Dean of Jersey had attended at any time.


This is what Bruce Willing is failing to acknowledge. This where Matthew Price should have been stepping in and challenging Mr Willing. He states that the Korris Report is biased, unfair and in some cases completely wrong. He sounds amazed that the Report was completed without the cooperation of the alleged victim HG. That didn't stop BDO Alto releasing their  report on the Financial Management of Operation Rectangle without interviewing the main person DCI Lenny Harper. I wonder what Mr Willing made of that? This was published by the Jersey State Media and  run as Gospel - complete with Ministerial support one should add. 


The way Mr Willing dismisses HG from 4 minutes onwards is staggering. He makes it quite clear that this is not about the alleged victim. Then he starts on about her Mental Health issues. The 'VOICE' of the victim has again been smothered. 

I believe that everyone who appears on the Matthew Price breakfast show should be properly challenged. That goes for everyone. If I was to again appear on the Matthew Price show I would expect to be challenged on what I was saying. The Breakfast Show is  BBC Jersey's flag ship show. They must up their game. It is the only show I listen to on BBCJ. There are so many issues now facing Jersey that it is time for some tough talking.  Anyone who sits in front of Matthew Price must realise that they are not been given a platform without challenge. The Matthew Price interview  conducted with former Deputy Bob Hill which features on the VFC blog was very good. This was helped by the intelligence of the person being interviewed. Jersey needs the BBCJ to up their game. 



http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.com/2013/10/3rd-anniversary-of-abuse-victims.html

I have emailed Matthew Price and BBCJ and let them know my feelings and if they would like to reply to my concerns. This is about the greater good of Jersey. The Breakfast Show is important. I have offered them a chance to reply to my comments so I can consider publishing them on my blog. I want to engage so we can move forward and make it better and more challenging for everyone.

Here is the email I sent:

From: rico sorda [
Sent: 12 October 2013 09:35
To: Matthew Price - Jersey
Subject: New Blog Posting

Hi Matthew,

I will be doing a posting on the interview you conducted with Bruce Willing this Friday morning. I'm not going to be holding back on this idiot. There are two points that I will be looking at and they are.

!. Who exactly is Bruce Willing ("BW")

2. The quality of the interview


I believe if someone like BW is going to be allowed to spurt his opinion without challenge by an opposing view at the same time then it is down to the interviewer to maintain some balance. The man was using Mental Health issues to further his argument without having any concern to the issues of Mental Health, and secondly, the day after Mental Health day. He was very misleading on the bounding over of HG.

Here is where I bring you in Matthew. I thought you let him have a platform to spout his nonsense without challenge. You could have, and should have, pulled him up. I believe you are researched enough on these issues to have done so. This is where the creditability of BBC Jersey can be improved amongst the public. If you had seriously challenged him Matthew, and you should have, we would be speaking positively right now. My posting wont be a BBC /Matthew Price bashing piece as that is not where I want to go but everybody needs to up their game. Don't let people use the breakfast show to spout nonsense. Let everybody know that if they come on the Matthew Price show in the morning that the Bullsh*t gets left at the door. That means everybody. Even if I was to appear on the breakfast show I want to be challenged. The Bruce Willing piece should be the end of giving people a platform without challenge. I know Bob Hill was on later but the damage had been done. The issues of Mental Health are very close to my heat and it sickened me the way that idiot was using it to further his argument.


If there is anything you would like to say on my posting then I will make sure it is added. Even if it's just a quote.


You might not agree with what I say but I believe all feedback is positive.


This email will feature on my posting any reply will be treated with discretion


Kind Regards


Rico Sorda


I did let my feelings get the better of me by calling Mr Willing an idiot but the way he was using Mental Health issues with no concern to HG was appalling and still makes my blood boil.


I will keep readers informed of any developments. Like I have said in the email I'm not posting to bash the BBC I simply want them to up their game. The future of Jersey demands it. 


Rico Sorda

Part Time Investigative Journalist