North Huddersfield Trust School head calls for 'change' over stabbing of Khayri Mclean

A headteacher has called for the fatal stabbing of a pupil to be a "catalyst for change" as two teenagers appeared in court charged with his murder.

Khayri Mclean, who was 15, died after an incident outside North Huddersfield Trust School on Wednesday, 21 September.

Exactly a week after his death, headteacher Andrew Fell gave an address outside the school, before a minute's silence was held in Khayri's memory.

He said said that knife crime was "endemic", and warned: "If we don't put counter measures in place it will only grow worse."

Khayri Mclean. Credit: Family handout

Mr Fell said: "A week ago today the worst nightmare a parent can have became a brutal reality with the tragic death of Khayri Mclean.

"Today we stand together as a community in support of Khayri's family. We are united in shock, numbed by grief and determined that this tragedy must become a catalyst for change."

Khayri was taken to hospital after being attacked shortly before 3pm on Woodhouse Hill Road, in the Fartown area. His death was confirmed a short time later.

The school remained closed to most pupils the following day.

Two boys, aged 15 and 16, who cannot be named because of their age, have been charged with murder and possessing a knife. They made their first appearance at Leeds Crown Court today.

During the brief hearing they were not asked to enter a plea and were told a provisional trial date would be set for next March. The pair were remanded into custody to appear in court again on 26 October.

Mr Fell said staff and students remained "bewildered and grief stricken" by Khayri's death, adding: "Knife crime is a scourge on our society.

"Something simply has to change. It is a stark reality that these kind of deaths are so commonplace they barely rate more than a paragraph on the inside pages of national newspapers. Lives and specifically lives of children are surely worth more than that."

He called for a "co-ordinated, systematic approach" to identifying and supporting vulnerable children and a focus on those who encourage young people to carry knives.

Mr Fell said: "We will only do this if everyone pulls in the same direction. This not only relies on government ministers and politicians, leaders of council services and those who work within local authorities, medical health and crime prevention services, community and faith organisations, schools and colleges.

"But also parents and carers, family members, nextdoor neighbours, friends, acquaintances, anyone with a knowledge of how, why and where the scourge of knife crime is presenting a danger to our children. It is your duty to speak out. To say nothing is to potentially risk the death of another child."

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