Children in a drama class at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan, Lancashire, were allegedly told to re-enact people being crushed and dying during the Hillsborough Disaster
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A dad was “furious” after his daughter said she was told to re-enact the Hillsborough Disaster at school.
The child, aged 12, said she and her classmates had acted out the devastating incident during a drama lesson at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan, Lancashire.
Ninety-seven Liverpool FC supporters were unlawfully crushed to death during an away cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday in 1989.
The shocked parent said his daughter told him how some pupils had been shouting “don’t crush me”, while others pretended to be dead during the school lesson, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The school said pupils were being taught about Hillsborough and other disasters, but that the subject matter was “treated with the utmost respect.”
Has your child’s school been asked to do something similar? Let us know at [email protected]
Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
However, it did provide any response to the claims about the re-enactment.
It is understood the school does accept the claim.
The dad said: “When she first said they were learning about Hillsborough, I asked her about what part, expecting it to be about everything that happened afterwards.
“When she told me they were being told to recreate the crush shouting ‘don’t crush me, stop crushing me’ and some of them being told to ‘die’, I was shocked. I thought it was disgraceful.
“I thought they would do something about court and have half of them on one side and the other half arguing, and doing the fight for justice.”
The dad said he was aware the Hillsborough Disaster was going to be added to the curriculum in Liverpool schools, and its anniversary would be marked with a dedicated ‘Hillsborough Day’, but added: “There’s a right way to do it.”
Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne, who was at Hillsborough, is currently spearheading The Real Truth Legacy Project.
The campaign to educate future generations about the injustice and comprehensive establishment cover-up of Hillsborough and to ensure they know the truth about what really happened at Hillsborough and afterwards.
When informed of the dad’s claims, Mr Byrne said: “This very disturbing incident shows exactly why The Real Truth Legacy Project is so important and why carefully planned and accurate and appropriate learning resources for schools across the country are required.
“This is exactly the type of incident that could be avoided by having education about Hillsborough added to the National Curriculum. I extend an open offer to the teacher and headteacher of the school involved to meet with me about our project.
“I am delighted to say that Greater Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham is already fully behind our campaign.”
A spokesperson for St John Fisher Catholic High School said: “The Hillsborough disaster was a tragedy that left an indelible mark on this country, particularly here in the North West.
“Our pupils learn about Hillsborough – and other tragic events, such as the Aberfan mining disaster – as part of a drama project, focusing on how communities came together in response, and have done for a number of years.
“Pupils learn about the social and societal context, exploring texts and poems – including The Ballad of Hillsborough – and we ensure this important subject is treated with the utmost respect.
“We note that Liverpool City Council recently voted in favor of including Hillsborough in the curriculum for schools and we support this approach.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.