Is this an act of stupidity or a mind control exercise? You decide!
Schoolchildren suffered panic attacks and were left crying after a role-play event in which one of their teachers was shot dead in the playground.
The children, aged 10 to 13, were traumatised by the stunt, which was part of a science lesson, and were not told that it was a stunt for ten minutes.
The exercise at Blackminster Middle School in Evesham, Worcestershire, began when pupils heard that there was a gun in the school. Five minutes later the alarm bell sounded and more than 300 were sent outside and saw three teachers running across the field.
They saw a gunman in the distance and heard what sounded like gunfire before seeing Mr Kent, a religious education teacher, fall to the ground. Colleagues appeared to attempt to resuscitate him
Parents claimed that the children were sent back to their classrooms and called into the assembly hall ten minutes later to see that Mr Kent was alive and uninjured. Some said that their children were so shaken by the exercise on Tuesday afternoon that they were sick in the toilets, suffered panic attacks and were still frightened when they got home.
One parent, who has an 11-year-old daughter at the school, said: They thought their teacher had been shot. And all this time you have kids crying in fear. Its ten minutes later that they told the children that it was all a joke. I think its absolutely disgusting.
Another parent said that the exercise was particularly insensitive because the father of one of the pupils had died in a shooting a few years ago. Their wording, their timing, everything was out of order, the parent said.
Terry Holland, the head teacher, said: The role-play was part of a science lesson. The problem with a small minority of the pupils was that there was a slight delay in getting them into the hall to explain what had just happened. Most of them already knew it was a spoof but a couple were upset and we have since spoken to them and their parents and apologised. It was one of the more popular teachers who played the victim. I dont think there would have been as much concern if it was one or two of the others.
In a letter to parents, Mr Holland said: We now feel that the time delay was too long and pupils should have been reassured instantly. Any role-play activities in the future will be based on themes that are less controversial and non-violent.