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Pupils suffer panic attacks after school stages fake shooting of teacher in playground

Schoolchildren were left crying and suffering panic attacks after a school role play which saw one of their teachers apparently shot dead in the playground.

The pupils, aged ten to 13, watched aghast as their religious education teacher ran across a field without warning and fell to the ground following a loud bang.

Some were so traumatised that they were sick afterwards, parents said.

The stunt was part of a science lesson designed to teach children how evidence is brought together in criminal investigations. They were not told it was fake until ten minutes after the event.

While some pupils no doubt found the hoax hilarious, others were left traumatised by the sudden turn of events.

Blackminster Middle School, in Evesham, Worcestershire, today apologised and admitted going too far.

The 'shooting' happened on Tuesday afternoon. More than 300 pupils were called to the hall and warned there was a gun somewhere in the school before being sent back to their classrooms.

Five minutes later, the fire alarm went and the children queued up in the playground. Only a handful were involved in the stunt and knew it was fake.

There, three teachers - one brandishing what appeared to be a gun - could be seen running across the school field before a sudden noise of gunfire was heard.

RE and science teacher Mr Kent fell to the ground and played dead, while 'frantic' colleagues - who knew about the planned stunt - rushed to 'resuscitate' him.

The shocked children were then ushered back to their classrooms, where they faced a ten-minute wait before it was finally revealed that the scene was fake and Mr Kent was fit and healthy.

But parents said the damage to some pupils - apparently including a girl whose father was shot dead several years ago - had already been done.

Vikki Woosey, whose son is in year six at the school, said: 'When I heard about it I just thought, "Oh my God, that is so inappropriate".

'They were standing in the playground and then a man appeared in the distance holding a gun. Then their teacher dropped to the ground and the teaching assistants ran over.

'They start doing CPR on the teacher and then the man runs into the school and supposedly trashes the science lab. It left some of the pupils terrified.'

A 33-year-old mother, who has a stepdaughter at the school, added: 'The children thought they were watching their teacher gunned down and were waiting for the same to happen to them.

'It is beyond belief. One pupil's father was shot dead a few years back and then they're in the assembly hall calling this role-play a 'joke'. Their wording, their timing, everything was out of order.

'Pupils were missing the bus home because they were consoling each other and being sick in the toilets. Another girl had a panic attack.'

Headmaster Terry Holland said: 'The role play was part of a science lesson where a selection of students and teachers acted out this scenario.

'The problem with a small minority of the pupils was that there was a slight delay in getting them back into the hall to explain what had just happened.

'Most of them already knew it was a spoof but a couple of them were upset and we have since spoken to them and their parents and apologised to them.

'It was one of the more popular teachers who played the victim, I don't think there would have been as much concern if it was one or two of the others.'

In a letter to parents, he added: 'I wish to apologise for any upset the role play may have caused. It was an original idea but one that went too far. Any role play activities in the future will be based on themes that are less controversial and non-violent.'

Earlier this month, a group of primary schoolchildren burst into tears when their teacher told them they would be taken away from their families during a bizarre Holocaust re-enactment.

The 11-year-olds, at St Hilary's School in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, were warned they could end up in an orphanage to give them 'insight' into the horrors faced by Jewish children during World War II.

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Added: Mar-25-2010 Occurred On: Mar-25-2010
By: kelly110
Tags: school, fake, shooting, staged, murder, UK
Views: 9211 | Comments: 18 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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