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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Ashford schoolgirl Kodie Cooper's eye pierced by pencil thrown during maths class at The John Wallis Academy in Stanhope

30 January 2014
by Tim Collins

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

The teenager spent almost a week in the William Harvey Hospital and police are investigating the alleged assault.

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

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

Kodie, of Lynsted Close, 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'."

Teenager Kodie Cooper took this photo of herself after she was hit in the eye with a pencil

Teenager Kodie Cooper took this photo of herself after she was hit in the eye with a pencil

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

She was released from hospital a week later and is now on antibiotics.

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

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

"My daughter is supposed to be safe when she's at school, but she might have been left partially blind..." - Kodie's mother Sarah Conway

"It hurts a lot now," she said. "We've got loads of drops and things I have to put in my eye.

"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."

Miss Cooper's mother Sarah has said she is considering sending Kodie to another school.

She 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."

The John Wallis Academy in Ashford

The John Wallis Academy in Ashford

The John Wallis Academy said the episode was an unfortunate accident that 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."

John Wallis Academy head teacher John McParland

John McParland, head teacher of the John Wallis Academy

Kent 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."


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