Hero teacher ‘shaken’ after intervening in school stabbing attack, says brother

A heroic teacher restrained a teenage girl in an armlock after two other staff members and a pupil were stabbed by a student, his brother has said.

Darrel Campbell disarmed the alleged attacker and put her in an armlock ahead of emergency services arriving at Amman Valley School in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire on Wednesday morning.

Two teachers were injured – including one stabbed in the neck according to reports – as well as a pupil.

The Senedd member for Mid and West Wales, who is a former student, told BBC Radio Wales his brother intervened in the incident, which happened at the end of the morning break.

“He’s been a teacher there for 40 years and he was involved in the incident yesterday in the sense that he was the first at the scene and he obviously had to deal with a very distressing and chaotic situation,” Mr Campbell said.

“He probably did what most people would have done in the same situation, try to calm things and restrain people from making the situation worse.

“Obviously he’s been shaken by the whole experience as have all the staff, pupils, parents and so on.

“But I think it’s the sense of shock because he’s been there for 40 years as teacher, he’s never ever seen anything like this.

Police and forensic investigators at Amman Valley School, in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.
Police and forensic investigators at Amman Valley School (Ben Birchall/PA)

The south-west Wales school went into lockdown after a “code red” alarm sounded through the PA system, during which students and staff are said to have hidden in classrooms – with one pupil reportedly vaulting the school fence to get to safety.

The lockdown lasted around four hours between 11.20am and 3.20pm, resulting in a lengthy and anxious wait for parents who were seen tearfully hugging their children after they walked through the gates.

Footage of the incident has been circulating online, with a number of newspapers reporting the contents of one video in which a panicked pupil can be heard shouting about someone getting stabbed.

Mr Campbell said there would be questions asked in the Senedd about security in schools across Wales.

“Let’s hope it’s a one off, but you just don’t know the way the society has changed. We have to ask questions about the way we move forward,” he told BBC Radio Wales.

School graphic
(PA Graphics)

“None of us want to go down that road but we’ve just obviously got to ask questions. What lessons can we learn from this?”

All three victims were taken to hospital with stab wounds but Dyfed-Powys Police said their injuries were not life-threatening.

The force also said a knife has been recovered.

Amman Valley School – a bilingual comprehensive school for pupils aged between 11 and 18 – will not open on Thursday to allow police to continue their investigation.

It is also known as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman and is maintained by Carmarthenshire County Council and provides education to 1,450 school pupils, in addition to 270 sixth form pupils.

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