‘Heroes’ is not a strong enough word for Crawley College teachers, says mum of student

‘Heroes’ is a word which can often be diluted, especially when attached to sports stars and the like.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 1:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 1:06 pm

But when you’re a mum and you hear how two members of staff at your child’s college tackled an armed man, ‘heroes’ is not a strong enough word.

Becky Thayre, of Maidenbower, described the actions of the pair during Monday’s incident at Crawley College as ‘amazing’.

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'I asked how the hell she knew what to do and she said ‘I just did it’. She was ...
Becky Thayre

She said: “They didn’t think about themselves, they just thought about the kids, making sure everyone was safe and just did what they had to do.

“Had they not have done that, it could have turned out very differently. We just don’t know what would have happened.”

Becky was working from home when her social media feed started throwing up information and rumour about the incident.

Knowing her 16-year-old son was in lessons, she sent him a text to check he was OK.

Police at the scene on Monday

At that point, all the lad knew was that there were a lot of police around.

Trying not to read any of the speculation being batted around on Facebook, Becky headed straight for her car when he then sent her a text saying the college had gone into emergency lockdown.

She said: “When they say don’t come to the area, the first thing you want to do is be there.

“It’s instinct once you know something is happening and it’s completely out of your control and you’re trusting other people to take care of your child.

“But they did that and they did it in a fantastic way.”

As it turned out, her son was picked up by a friend’s mum, who was in town when the news broke and police flooded to the college.

Becky said: “He was really calm and I think a lot of that was down to how it was handled by staff.

“I can’t thank the staff and police enough for how it was handled and how quickly it was brought to an end.

“If you’re the teacher and you’re the person everyone is looking to to manage the situation - I don’t know what I would have done in that situation.”

The gun may have fired blanks but there was no way the two staff members could have known that and Becky couldn’t praise their heroism highly enough.

She said: “Any type of gun - a BB gun or whatever - if someone is pointing a gun at you that is pretty terrifying.

“They didn’t know the situation - there could have been two or three of them, they just didn’t know.”

Her son described the whole situation as ‘crazy’.

That craziness hit home later and, while she knew everyone was safe, Becky said she couldn’t get the incident out of her head, particularly pictures of youngsters walking out of the college with their hands raised.

She said: “You see the footage of the kids coming out with their hands in the air - it’s absolutely horrific. I can’t imagine what those kids were thinking and going through.”