Head issues moving tribute
THE headteacher of St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive in Llanelli has issued a moving tribute to pupil Bradley John who died after an incident at the school.
In an open letter issued to all pupils on Friday, Ashley Howells called Bradley a “polite, cooperative and articulate young man.”
The 14-year-old died in hospital after being taken there from the school on Wednesday.
Pupils and staff have since received specialist support from DyfedPowys Police, after an assembly was called on Wednesday afternoon to inform pupils about Bradley’s death.
Flowers which were placed outside the school gates have since been moved to a memorial garden within the school grounds.
In his letter Mr Howells said: “As you are aware from the joint press release issued by the school and Dyfed-Powys Police earlier this week, one of our Year 10 pupils, Bradley John, tragically died as a result of an incident that occurred within the school on Wednesday.
“A joint police and coroner’s investigation is ongoing. I want to reassure families that there is no suspicion of a criminal act, no suspicion of foul play, nobody else was involved and, contrary to some reports, no weapons or firearms were involved.
“Whilst tragic events such as this cannot be prepared for, I must pay tribute to how the pupils and staff have conducted themselves over the last 48 hours.
“As you know, St John Lloyd is a small, close-knit community and it is the bonds between staff, pupils and parents that have provided us with the most comfort in recent days.
“We are all deeply affected by what has happened, but we are trying for the sake of the pupils to keep the school running as normal as possible over the coming days.
“On Thursday, pupils and staff were able to access specialist support from a wide range of staff including the school counsellor, the local authority educational psychologist, Mrs Lawrence, head of RE, Mrs Evans, head of wellbeing and pastoral care and her team, Mrs Griffiths, the school youth worker, members of the school chaplaincy team and occupational therapists.
“Support has continued today and will remain in place for the start of next week. With the weekend ahead, however, it is likely that your child might want to talk about what has happened at home and will need your reassurance at this difficult time.
“In addition to what the school has already provided, I have included the contact details of a number of support agencies that might be of use to you at the end of this letter.
“I also want to pay tribute to Bradley’s parents, sister and wider family at this difficult time for the immense courage and dignity they have shown throughout. The whole school community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support.
“Finally, it is only appropriate that our final tribute goes to Bradley himself.
“Bradley joined St John Lloyd at the end of Year 7 and over the last two years had become a wellknown member of the school community with an excellent attendance record.
“Bradley was a polite, cooperative and articulate young man who was happy to help staff and provide support for his friends and peers. He would talk at length about his love of the outdoors, his horses and his love of all things mechanical.
“It was also obvious how much his sister, Danielle, meant to him and how much Bradley meant to her. Bradley was a gifted pupil with so much to offer and St John Lloyd will be a poorer place without him.
“Please accept my heartfelt thanks for all the messages of support and prayers we have received from parents, former pupils and the wider community.”
Friends of Bradley’s family, who are keen “clean-boot” hunting enthusiasts, have started the #BlowforBradley social media campaign in memory of him.
A JustGiving page has also been set up to support his family.