Parents of Barking teenager who was fatally stabbed set up school in his memory
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 09 January 2019
The grieving parents of a teenager who was stabbed to death last year have helped set up a school in his honour.
Hasan Ozcan, 19, was attacked near a football pitch in Abbey Road, next to the Gascoigne Estate in Barking, on February 3.
Almost a year after his death, Hasan’s parents are establishing a Turkish school in his name with the help of Barking and Dagenham Council, in a bid to bring together the Turkish community in the borough.
“We wanted to do something for the kids,” said Hasan’s mother, Emine.
“There have been big problems for Barking and Dagenham in terms of knife crime, but we wanted to do something for people who grow up here, and provide something for the kids.”
The school will open on January 12, running on Saturdays and Sundays at Gascoigne School. English, Turkish, and Turkish history will be taught by a Turkish teacher.
There’s currently a provision for around 45 seven to 13-year-olds, but if successful, Emine, 42, and her husband, Abdullah, 44, are hoping to extend it to secondary school pupils.
“Barking and Dagenham Council said this is what they can do for our son,” said Hasan’s father, who’s originally from southern Turkey.
“There are more than 100 Turkish families in Barking and Dagenham and if we give a school to these children, they can study Turkish together and learn.
“At the moment there’s nothing for them so this will be the first. It’s going to be good for the Turkish children because they will make friends and the Turkish families will meet each other there.”
A spokesman from Gascoigne School said: “Gascoigne Primary is at the heart of the community and is proud to work in partnership to offer space for children and young people to engage in a number of activities out of school hours.
“Following the tragic and unfortunate incident, the school worked with the local community and offered the opportunity to residents prepared to offer their skills to run activities for young people, or to host events to promote community cohesion.
“There is already an Albanian school being run and we are working with BoxUp Crime to open a gym in the school.”
Four people have been charged in connection with Hasan’s death.
They will stand trial at the Old Bailey on April 29.