July 16, 2009

Staged ‘alien abduction’ scares students

Parents of children at a British school said young students were traumatized when school staff staged an alien abduction of a teacher.

The parents said teachers at Southway Junior School in Burgess Hill, England, terrified students, some as young as 7, by faking a spaceship crash near classrooms and having costumed aliens kidnap a teacher, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

School officials said the event was designed to encourage students to use their imaginations during Everyone Writes Day.

Police, who were in on the plot, helped students produce eyewitness accounts of the abduction, which were shared at an assembly at the end of the day where the abducted teacher reappeared and revealed the hoax.

Officials said many students enjoyed the experience, but some parents said the event went too far.

God only knows what the school was playing at, said a mother who asked not to be named. "To shock children into thinking that the aliens have landed and have abducted a teacher is just a little too much for 7-year-olds.

My daughter was deeply upset by it all and came home looking shell-shocked, she said. She wasn't sure what had happened and really wanted to know that everything was going to be all right.