Pen­cil thrown in class pierces school­girl’s eye

Mum shocked by re­sponse from school

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Special Report - By Tim Collins

tcollins@thek­m­ A school­girl says she is wor­ried that her sight has been dam­aged per­ma­nently af­ter a pen­cil thrown by another pupil pierced her eye.

Kodie Cooper, 14, who at­tends The John Wal­lis Academy in Stan­hope was struck in the left eye when a boy threw a pen­cil at her dur­ing a maths class.

The teenager spent al­most a week in the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 16.

The Lynsted Close res­i­dent said: “We were all muck­ing around in class, when I looked down to use my phone.

“He threw the pen­cil at me, and it felt like some­one had poked me in the eye. But then my hand filled up with blood and I started cry­ing.

“I ran out of the class­room and was pan­ick­ing. I tried to find a mir­ror, but the toi­let was locked. So I took a pic­ture on my phone, and I got re­ally scared. I thought, I’m go­ing to be blind.”

The teenager called her mother Sarah Conway, 39, and was rushed to the Wil­liam Har­vey.

She was re­leased from hos­pi­tal last Wed­nes­day and is now on an­tibi­otics.

She has to wear a pro­tec­tive lens and shield, and is await­ing an ap­point­ment to find out the sever­ity of her in­juries.

But she says she is wor­ried she will never re­gain full vi­sion in the eye.

“It hurts a lot now, and we’ve got loads of drops and things I have to put in my eye,” she added.

“My year leader came round with some friends, which was re­ally nice. But we’ve got to wait un­til next Mon­day to find out if I will need an op­er­a­tion to put a new lens in my eye. It’s very scary.”

Po­lice have con­firmed they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged as­sault.

A spokesman said: “Kent Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an al­leged as­sault re­ported as tak­ing place be­tween 3.10pm and 3.30pm on Jan­uary 16 at an Ash­ford sec­ondary school and we are mak­ing in­quiries. No ar­rests have yet been made.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­ Miss Cooper’s mother has said she is con­sid­er­ing send­ing Kodie to another school.

Mrs Conway, 39, said: “The lack of re­ac­tion from the school has been re­ally bad, I’m re­ally shocked.

“My daugh­ter is sup­posed to be safe when she’s at school, but she might have been left par­tially blind.

“The only teacher who has been sup­port­ive has been her year leader, who has al­ways been re­ally sup­port­ive of Kodie.

“But the head, Mr McPar­land, has just de­fended this maths teacher and the boy. There’s been no apol­ogy. I’m go­ing to have to find her a new school when she’s well enough to go back.”

But The John Wal­lis Academy has said the episode was an un­for­tu­nate ac­ci­dent which oc­curred be­tween friends.

John McPar­land, prin­ci­pal of the Mill­bank Road school, said: “It was a small group of stu­dents, a group of four friends, who were work­ing in their maths class.

“They were get­ting their work done, so it wasn’t chaos in the class­room or any­thing of that kind. But one of the boys was play­ing around and threw the pen­cil at Kodie.

“It was an un­for­tu­nate ac­ci­dent be­tween friends, with ab­so­lutely no in­ten­tion of caus­ing harm. The boy was ex­cluded and he was ab­so­lutely dis­traught at what hap­pened.

“Kodie has been in our prayers ever since, we wish her a speedy re­cov­ery, and of course we re­ally want her to be back at school.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM3003816

Kodie Cooper, 14. af­ter be­ing hit in the eye with a pen­cil thrown in class

Kodie Cooper, 14, took this photo of her­self af­ter she was hit in the eye with a pen­cil thrown by another pupil dur­ing a maths les­son at John Wal­lis school

John McPar­land says it was an un­for­tu­nate ac­ci­dent

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