Bullet sent to Tobermore primary school condemned

The true scale of the problem of violence in the classroom is not known by the public, the UTU conference has heard.
The true scale of the problem of violence in the classroom is not known by the public, the UTU conference has heard.

The principal of a Co Londonderry primary school has confirmed that a threatening letter containing a bullet was delivered to her school.

Deirdre Madden, principal of Tobermore primary school said the threat was not intended for anyone at her school.

“It is in the hands of the PSNI now,” she said.

“The letter came to our school but was not targeted at any of our children or any members of our school community.

“Our children have not been threatened and our staff have not been threatened.”

A North Eastern Education and Library Board spokesperson said: “The Board can confirm that the PSNI are currently investigating an incident which is unrelated to Tobermore Primary School, its pupils, or staff.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Police are aware of a letter sent to a primary school in Tobermore.

“While we do not discuss the security of individuals police, would never ignore anything that would put anyone at risk.”

Tobermore primary school is a controlled primary school with 72 pupils.

UUP MLA for the area, Sandra Overend, condemned whoever was responsible for sending a threatening letter containing a bullet to Tobermore Primary School.

She said: “A primary school should be a place of safety for all children, and to send a bullet to one is an act of utter madness.

“This is absolutely deplorable and I condemn it outright. It has no place in the future we are trying to build for all the children of Northern Ireland, regardless of race or creed.

“I would like to commend the strength of the Principal and her staff who deserve our support at this time.

“Someone somewhere knows who did this and I would call on that person to pass that information to the Police as soon as possible.”

Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea said the incident was “totally unnecessary and unwarranted”.

“Regardless of what the motivation is, to send a bullet in the post to a primary school really beggars belief,” he said. “As a parent I can’t fathom the thought process of anyone who would consider sending a bullet to a primary school.

“Anyone who could think of sending a bullet to a primary school has lost all sense of reality.”

Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne said: “The fact that a bullet was sent to Tobermore Controlled Primary School is an absolute disgrace and those behind the threat should be ashamed of themselves.

“Schools should be a place of sanctuary and learning and young children should be protected from these types of attacks and threats.

“The PSNI need to treat this as a hate crime as I believe that this threat is targeting a family that recently settled in the area.”

Alliance Education spokesperson, Trevor Lunn MLA, said: “Whatever the reason that caused the perpetrators to send a bullet in the post, there is no justification for such a threat.

“I am appalled and angered that somebody would do this. It is completely unacceptable.

“The people responsible are beyond contempt. Their actions have no place in our society.

“If anybody has any information about this incident then I would urge them to contact the Police.”

Police have asked anyone with information to contact officers in Maghera on 0845 600 8000.”