Pupils get special assembly after Keane’s death

Keane Wallis-Bennett. Picture: contributed
Keane Wallis-Bennett. Picture: contributed
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A SPECIAL assembly was due to be held at Liberton High today as pupils and staff return to school exactly three weeks after the death of Keane Wallis-Bennett.

The secondary school has been closed since the 12-year-old lost her life when a modesty wall toppled on her as she changed for PE.

Pupils were expected to gather at an assembly this morning to reflect on how they can support each other and the wider community in the wake of the tragedy.

Counsellors were also to be on hand to help pupils or staff who are struggling to cope.

Hundreds of floral tributes, cards and notes were left at the school gates after the incident on April 1.

The City of Edinburgh Council has confirmed that the mementos will be given to Keane’s family.

More than 400 people attended the first-year pupil’s funeral at Mortonhall Crematorium on Thursday – many donning colourful onesies or specially-made pink sweatshirts in her memory.

Keane’s coffin was brought to the service by a white horse-drawn carriage, with her family walking slowly behind.

Like those who had replaced black with brighter colours, the two white horses wore pink feathers in their manes.

They were followed by hundreds of the schoolgirl’s friends, some of them in tears. Mourners heard that the avid One Direction fan – described by her parents as a “princess who wanted to be prime minister” – had thrown herself into all aspects of school life.

Reverend Cameron MacKenzie said she was “electrically keen about life” – a member of the pupil council, gardening club and rugby team.

The former Craigour Park Primary pupil was also a cheerleader and basketball player who was learning the violin, having attended karate lessons and gone horse-riding.

Rev MacKenzie said that as she progressed to Liberton High, Keane’s pursuits involved “lots of lip gloss, false nails and big bags from ­Primark”.

He added: “Everywhere Keane went she left a trail of glitter and nails and other shiny things.”

The community-minded youngster had even written to the city council to demand better resources for her and her classmates.

Her death prompted structural checks at schools and leisure facilities across the Capital.

A similar wall at a bike shed at Craiglockhart Primary has been knocked down.

The council has confirmed all free-standing walls at Castlebrae High and Leith Academy identical to the one which collapsed will be demolished, with similar structures to be knocked down or reinforced.

Last week, Liberton High was given the all-clear by safety inspectors to re-open. However, the PE block will remain cordoned off.

Education chiefs have said the gym building could be demolished once Police Scotland, assisted by the Health and Safety Executive, completes its probe.

A consultation will be launched with parents, staff and families on the future of the block, with options set to include complete demolition.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, previously said: “It’s right we have that discussion with them rather than just making the decision.”