Council is sorry as letter fails to reassure parents
Education bosses at East Lothian Council have apologised to parents and carers after sending out a letter which sparked fears that local primary schools were under threat of attack.
More than 700 pupils across the county missed end-of-term services and Christmas parties last Thursday, as worried parents kept them at home for the last day of term.
The council has now promised to set up a cross-party working group to establish a protocol to prevent similar scares in the future.
Head of Education David Nightingale issued a letter to parents last Wednesday after schools received an anonymous note containing a “strange take” on a children’s story.
The letter, intended to reassure families, said there was nothing “threatening or offensive” in the story and children should continue to attend school.
Mr Nightingale continued: “I have taken advice from my education colleagues and from Lothian and Borders Police. Although nothing further has been received, we remain alert to any suspicious activity or individuals around school premises.”
But within hours of the letter being issued to parents, rumours were circulating on social media sites that the story contained threats connected to the recent school massacre in Connecticut. There was also widespread criticism among parents about the council’s handling of the matter.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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