Dunblane children given gun to colour

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Parents reacted furiously last night after a child who was shot and wounded during the massacre by Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane primary school came home with a colouring-in sheet depicting a gun.

Five-year-old Amy Hutchison, who was hit in the knee when Hamilton shot dead 16 of her Primary One classmates and their teacher, told her mother she did not want to touch the worksheet's picture of a pistol, or the letters G and N, underneath, with the middle letter left to be filled in.

Stirling district council - which runs the school - apologised for the blunder. The head of school services, Margaret Doran, said teaching material at the school had been vetted after the tragedy, but the sheet appeared to have slipped through.

"The staff at the school, who have been magnificent in their response to this major tragedy, have taken this one incident very badly indeed," she said.

Amy's mother Veronica, 32, said Amy and other members of the Primary Two class were given the picture in an exercise designed to test their knowledge of vowels. "I found the worksheet in Amy's school bag," Mrs Hutchison said. "One of the [colouring] pictures was of a handgun ... It stood out because it was the only picture that Amy hadn't coloured in."

Mrs Hutchison immediately contacted Stirling council's Director of Education, Gordon Jeyes, who was "appalled" by the mistake. Mr Jeyes said a letter was going out to parents, and all school literature in Stirling district would be vetted.

"The worksheet was insensitive, inappropriate, and should not have been given out," he said. "We offer our unreserved apologies. ... It was really just a mistake which wasn't discovered until it was too late."