The Wokingham Paper

Holt School history teacher killed in Forbury Gardens stabbing

James Furlong has been named as one of the victims of the Forbury Gardens stabbing. Picture: Phil Creighton

A HISTORY and politics teacher has been named as one of the victims killed in yesterday’s stabbing in Forbury Gardens.

James Furlong, who worked as the head of history and government and politics at The Holt School, died yesterday after the incident — which has now been called a terrorist attack by Thames Valley Police.

Pupils at the school and their parents were told this afternoon in a letter inviting them to light a candle at St Paul’s Church tomorrow.

The letter states: “We are so very sad to have to inform you that last night, James Furlong, our wonderfully talented and inspirational head of history and government and politics was tragically murdered in the terrorist incident in Forbury Gardens in Reading. 

“James was a very kind and gentle man; he had a real sense of duty and cared for each and every one of our students. He truly inspired everyone he taught through his passion for his subject and his dedication. 

“He was determined that our students would develop a critical awareness of global issues and in doing so, become active citizens and have a voice. As a Holt community, we all now need to absorb this sad news.”

Flowers have already been placed outside The Holt School entrance. Picture: Phil Creighton

The school have confirmed that lessons for tomorrow will be cancelled for all year groups and counsellors will be available if needed for staff and pupils. 

And students are invited to remember Mr Furlong at St Paul’s church tomorrow. 

The letter continued: “Father Richard from Saint Paul’s Church has kindly offered to open up the church, should your son or daughter wish to light a candle, say a prayer, or talk.

“We are also planning to create a memories book for James’ family to which your son or daughter might like to contribute.

“Words cannot describe our shock and sadness at this time. Out thoughts are with his Mum, Dad, Brother and family, and his friends and colleagues.”

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