Parents of kids at a top Cornish school are outraged a teacher showed kids a video of a suicide.
Pool Academy in Pool, between Redruth and Camborne, showed a Year 10 Religous Education class film of a woman trying to suffocate herself.
The Academy serves the young community of which fifteen year old Simone Grice, whose suicide inquest was heard this week, was a part.
Pool was rated ‘outstanding’ in 2009 and 2010 and maintains a high reputation in the local community of Camborne and Redruth.
But there is local anger over the school’s decision to show teenage boys and girls images of a woman attempting suicide to during a controversial lesson on ethics.
The class, consisting chiefly of fifteen year old boys and girls, were warned they could leave if they didn’t want to watch the disturbing content.
But Mums and Dads say all the youngsters stayed, not so much because they wanted to see the movie, but for fear of looking ‘chicken’ in front of their mates.
At least one girl came home distraught at the harrowing images.
And the school confirmed today it had received an official complaint about the movie, as debate raged about the film on Facebook.
Penny McAllister, 34, a nursery volunteer from Camborne, said: “I was furious when my daughter came home.
“She said the film showed a woman putting a bag over her head to suffocate herself and her children trying to stop her.
“I thought they were supposed to teach Religous Education in R.E?
“It’s totally wrong to show that kind of thing to children and I know a lot of parents want to complain.”
Another father, who emailed us anonymously, added: “Although the kids were given the chance to leave – which of them is going to get up on their own and leave the class?
“Anyway it’s almost like taunting them to stay on and watch.
“You know like when they say: ‘Customers with heart conditions are advised not to enter the Spookhouse’ or put ‘Parental Advisory’ on pop music.
“Advertisers know full well warnings about graphic content encourage people to watch – it’s human nature – even more so in children.
“I think a lot of my lads friends almost baited the teacher to put in on – but it’s wrong: teenagers are still kids, still easily influenced and still vulnerable.”
The teenage community in Camborne and Redruth is still reeling from the shocking death of 15 year old Simone Grice.
On Friday Coroner for Cornwall Dr Emma Carlyon recorded a verdict of suicide on Simone.
The youngster was troubled at school and was home-schooling because she was bullied.
She killed herself after sending sexual texts to a former date of her Aunts, when he told her he couldn’t associate with an underage girl.
The school film’s said to have raised the entirely seperate issue of euthanasia.
The controversial scene showed a middle aged woman with a terminal illness hide herself away and try and use a plastic bag to self-suffocate – a common form of suicide.
In the US a significant number of children have died accidentally in a ‘game of dare’ involving bag-suffocation.
Business Manager for Pool School John Mitchell told the News: “The film clip in question came from a DVD which has been used in this school in the past.
“It’s also been used in many other Cornish secondary schools, but has not provoked comment.
“The film attempts to deal with some of the issues surrounding euthanasia – which forms part of the RE syllabus.
“It follows a woman with a terminal illness, and is a sensitive dramatisation of her story.
“All the students were given the option to leave the classroom if they thought that they may be in any way upset by the clip.”
Mr Mitchell added: “Subsequent to the film clip being shown, we did receive one complaint from a parent.
“As a result we are reviewing the use of the film.”
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