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Children distressed over chickens' deaths after teenage school break-in

PUBLISHED: 09:15 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 25 January 2019

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

A primary headteacher wants teenagers who broke into her school to “understand how upset” pupils are after two of their chickens were found dead.

Castle Hill Primary School, in Dryden Road, Ipswich was broken into overnight on Saturday, January 20.

The three teenage suspects were caught on CCTV breaking into sheds on the premises and releasing the schools’ chickens.

The following morning, when a caretaker came to check on the birds, he found that two were missing, two were dead and three were alive - though one also has an injury on its back.

Headteacher Gemma Andrews said: “The sanctions for these young people are in the hands of the police. If we were able to, we would like to do some restorative work with them to help them understand how upset our school community is.

“We hatched these chickens from eggs about 12 months ago and we have looked after them and cared from them ever since.

“During the week they are cared for by our youngest pupils in Year One and Year Two, and at the weekends our caretaker comes in each day to let them out, feed them and put them to bed.

“When he came back on Sunday, he found them. It was very clear that they had not been attacked by an animal.”

The school says it has passed CCTV footage from the incident to Suffolk Constabulary and that officers are currently investigating the crime.

In a letter to parents, the headteacher explained the incident was very distressing and that she had explained, in an age appropriate way, what happened to every class.

She asked that the parents and community remain vigilant to people entering the school’s site and for anyone hearing anything to report it to the police.

Mrs Andrews added: “The conversation with every class was different and I have been really impressed with the students’ response.

“I’ve had notes from the students asking me not to be sad, telling me that some of them are sad, some of them say that they are going to love the chickens that we still have even more.”

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