Good comes of evil
It can be hard to identify the positives amongst all the corruption and squalor that surrounded the closure of TNS and it is all too easy to become overwhelmed by the fake news, dishonesty, and political manoeuverings.
A number of things do stand out and deserve mention.
The first is the determination of former staff and parents to ensure that the true facts emerge from the whole debacle, and the way in which they have remained loyal to the cause, long after the opening of a new provision.
This has been achieved because of the high levels of trust and mututal respect that existed long before those appalling events of November 2018 and helps to explain why questions were already being asked of the regulators, Scottish Government and the Board of Governors soon after closure was announced on 20th November.
It has been made easier because all we have to do is focus on the truth. The facts. Not the rumour, innuendo and false statements that disappear in a puff of smoke whenever someone applies a little intelligence and scrutiny to the whole affair. Organising the campaign for an investigation has been easy. As others have found over the months, maintaining the charade less so.
The second is the professionalism and dignity of Angie Gordon who over the last few months has risen above the hatred and vitriol thrown at her by lesser beings to provide whatever support she can to those traumatised by the devastation of our school community. After weathering months of attacks from PKC following the February 2017 tragedy, she dedicated herself to the re-building of the school under Witherslack only to be brought down by Care Inspectorate lies and that final betrayal from the Board of Governors and Witherslack themselves. Without any thought for herself, she continued to support the desperate efforts made by school managers in the days following the announcement of closure to secure a new provider so that pupils could return to the school, albeit under a new management.
The third is the courage shown by the Parent Support Group in the wake of the tragedy and in particular their two very strong and capable leaders. Whilst facing their own personal challenges brought on by the abrupt loss of a safe caring environment for their own children, they stood up to fight for others, and that takes selflessness and integrity.
Good does come of evil. At some point, perhaps when they are sitting in their nursing homes reflecting on their lives and what they have ‘achieved’, those education officers, care inspectors, and board members will realise how much harm they did to innocent families and employees - by which time it will be too late to make amends.
Others will take pride in how they made adversity their friend, and how they clung however vainly to the hope that the truth will emerge and that we might return once day to the happy memories of a community that did so much good, rather than the bitterness of the loss we currently feel.
The truth will come out. It may take years, even decades, but we will continue to fight whatever obstacles may be put in our way.
And a happy ending for us will then become a tragedy for those who caused all of this to happen.