Belfast Telegraph

Bullet sent to primary school

Police investigating the sending of a bullet to a primary school in Northern Ireland are treating it as a hate crime.

The bullet and accompanying warning was sent to Tobermore primary school near Magherfelt, Co Londonderry.

However, the threat did not refer to any pupil or staff member at the school.

It is understood it was directed at an older sibling of foreign national school pupils who study at another school.

Both a racial and sectarian motive are suspected.

The incident has been met with a wave of revulsion by political representatives.

Mid-Ulster Democratic Unionist Assembly member Ian McCrea said it was an "outrageous and deeply disturbing" situation.

"This has put children and teachers at risk as well as causing significant panic amongst parents," he said.

"Children should be safe in school. It is a trusted environment. The teachers and staff are dedicated to helping the community and getting the best for the children. Those behind this incident are dragging the community down and doing a disservice to the children of the area."

Sinn Fein MLA Ian Milne said the perpetrators 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," he said.

He added: "There are still those in the community who want to continually divide society whether it is through religion or race and the community needs to stand firm against these threats.

"I am sure that the people of Magherafelt will stand in support of this family and their children in ensuring that the right of a child to have a good education is protected.

"I am calling on those behind the threat to cease their intimidation immediately and allow this family to live in peace."

Ulster Unionist Assembly member for the area Sandra Overend 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."

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn 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."

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