Teacher saves teen from death jump

By Sandy Rashty, March 27, 2014
Adam Landsman

Adam Landsman

A teacher saved a teenage boy from potential suicide when he saw him on the parapet of a bridge over a busy road.

Adam Landsman, 27, was driving to work on Wednesday — a day when thousands of other teachers were on strike — and spotted the boy who had climbed the railings and was staring down at the rush-hour A1 traffic in Hatfield.

Mr Landsman abandoned his car and rushed to the boy’s side where he struck up a conversation with the 16-year-old who was close to tears.

After 25 minutes he managed to coax him away from the centre of the bridge, thanks to his experience in dealing with children with learning difficulties.

“His eyes and body language were screaming for help,” Mr Landsman said.

“I started speaking to him, told him my name and comforted him. He began to open up. He said: ‘I want to jump, I don’t want to be here’.

“It could have gone either way. If he had jumped, I would have been the one who saw it. He soon started opening up more, getting past the anger.”

Mr Landsman, a former JFS pupil who was driving to his south Hatfield school from his home in Edgware, had asked a passing lorry driver to call the police.

When they arrived, an officer was able to coax the boy back over the railings.

Mr Landsman said: “My school has a lot of children with learning difficulties. I used my training with autistic children to speak to him.”

A spokesman for Hertfordshire police later confirmed that the teenager was “safe and well”.

Mr Landsman was at JFS with mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin who made headlines in his search for a man who dissuaded him from jumping off a bridge over the Thames. “His story went through my mind,” he said.

Last updated: 11:57am, March 27 2014