Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Classroom Ball Encourages Discussion about Weapons

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Classroom Ball Encourages Discussion about Weapons

Article excerpt

A TOY that aims to encourage children to talk about guns is being piloted at a school in the county where Derrick Bird's rampage left 12 people dead.

The Guns Thumball, which is designed for pupils as young as eight, lists 32 types of gun, from a Mac 10 machine gun to a water pistol.

It was being developed before the Cumbrian massacre last June but the company behind it, which is also based in the county, says it is "even more important" for children to discuss weapons in light of the tragedy.

Children at primary school in Bassenthwaite are among those in a pilot group trying out the ball before it goes on sale.

Headteacher Sara Royle said: "The new Guns Thumball gives us the opportunity to positively encourage the students to talk about the role that guns have in society in a safe and fun way."

Chief Superintendent Geoff Feavyour of Leicestershire Police, a strategic firearms commander, has backed the use of the ball. He recognised the ball may be controversial, saying: "I can understand the sensitivity, but we are fooling ourselves if we think our kids don't arrive at school without exposure to guns, gun issues, and in some cases gun culture. …

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