Parents were left outraged after their children’s school set them a piece of homework asking them whether the Manchester terror attacker should be forgiven.
Year 8 pupils at Bridlington School in Yorkshire were asked to pretend they were the parents of one of the young people killed in the horrific Manchester Arena attack in 2017.
Teachers asked them: ‘Write a response to the point of view that: ”All terrorists should be forgiven”.
Families across the region were at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22 when Salman Abedi blew himself up and killed 22 people.
One of the students at Bridlington is the cousin of one of the young victims.
The headteacher has now apologised but claimed they wanted children to ‘formulate their own views about whether hate or forgiveness are the best response to even such terrible crimes’.
Year 8 pupils at Bridlington School in Yorkshire were asked to pretend they were the parents of one of the young people killed in the horrific Manchester Arena attack in 2017
One of the students at Bridlington School (pictured) is the cousin of one of the young victims
The homework appeared on the school’s online app and was set on Friday.
While the assignment only asked for a response to the statement and not necessarily written from the view that terrorists should be forgiven, parents felet the question is deeply inappropriate.
One is so outraged she has taken her child out of school for the day until she has some answers.
She told Hull Live: ‘There are children at the school who attended the concert and were there when the attack happened. There is even a cousin of one of the victims at the school.
‘My daughter is only 12 years old and should not have to be thinking along these lines.
‘How can we imagine what the parents of those killed are thinking? I know I could never forgive that attacker in the same way I could not forgive a drink-driver if they killed my daughter.
‘I have not let my daughter attend school today until I can find out more about what the school is teaching our children. There is only a carol service today so she is not missing out on lessons.
‘We have not been told anything but I know a lot of parents have complained and are very angry about this.’
Tracey Turner has a granddaughter at the school.
She said: ‘I think this assignment is absolutely disgusting for all sorts of different reasons.
‘It seems to me to be brainwashing the kids and they should not have to be thinking about this kind of thing, particularly at Christmas.
‘What are the families of the bombing victims going to think when they see this?
Families across the region were at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22 when Salman Abedi blew himself up and killed 22 people (aftermath pictured)
‘I think the school needs to take this homework straight off and apologise to the children and parents.’
There has also been an angry reaction on social media.
One woman said: ‘My son was very seriously injured at the Manchester Arena while going to pick my granddaughter up but we were blessed he didn’t lose his life.
‘I am absolutely disgusted with this and will be phoning the school later to let them know. People don’t see the aftermath of such horrific acts of hate. What a completely inappropriate thing to do.’
One person commented: ‘I am a survivor of the July 7, 2005, London bombings. I was almost killed. I would say this is wholly inappropriate.’
One man called for drastic action.
He said: ‘Sick! He needs to be suspended and the headteacher brought to account.’
The school has apologised for any upset caused and has rephrased the question.
Manchester terror attacker: Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb after the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22 2017
But headteacher Kate Parker-Randall explained why the homework had been set.
The essay was set as part of a personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) lesson which was considering the consequences of crime and the aims of different punishments.
She said: ‘It followed a discussion in class about a newspaper report that the mother of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack had forgiven the bomber for killing her son.
‘The essay was intended to allow students to formulate their own views about whether hate or forgiveness are the best response to even such terrible crimes.
‘I would like to reassure parents, pupils and the community that the feelings aired on social media were totally unintentional consequences of setting this homework, however, I do understand that some people may find it difficult to understand why a school would ask students such a challenging question.
‘It is important that students should be able to express their own thoughts and give reasons for their feelings.
‘However, having reflected on the matter we would in hindsight have posed the homework question in a different way.’