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May 27, 2003

Deaf boy's mum blasts nursery school firebugs

From: Glasgow Evening Times, UK - May 27, 2003

by Martin Murray

THE mother of a deaf boy who goes to a nursery destroyed by fire spoke today of her anger at the vandals she believes are responsible.

The interior of Woodacre Nursery School, on Willowford Road, Nitshill, Glasgow, was destroyed on Sunday afternoon.

Parents are now anxious about the future of pre-school education for their children.

City Council officials say it will be tomorrow at the earliest before they know when the nursery can re-open.

Julie Thomson's son Stuart, 3, attends five mornings a week.

Julie, 30, of Whithope Terrace, said: "I've lost all his first drawings and notes on his progress that teachers made.

"A teacher for the deaf comes to see him every Wednesday. What will happen to that service?

"We found out in November that he was deaf and he was already playing catch-up, so this was the last thing he needed.

"Nursery is the first time children are away from their mums and it's hard enough getting them settled without having to uproot them because of vandals.

"There are problems here with youngsters setting fire to bins in the back greens - but how low can it go when they are targeting a nursery?

"The children were due to have a fun day next week. What fun can they have now?"

Julie said that the 1970s-built nursery was so popular that parents from miles around sent their children there.

She said: "Up to 140 children go there and as well as Nitshill they come from Craigbank, Parkhouse and Darnley."

Education convener Steven Purcell said the damage caused to the school was a huge loss to the community.

He added: "I am very saddened and annoyed that the local community has had its well-loved and well-cared for nursery school so badly damaged."

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: "This appears to be an act of vandalism, but we are still awaiting official confirmation from the fire service on the cause."

Spokesmen for the police and the fire brigade said that their investigations were continuing.

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