Misrepresented by martial image

14th March 2003 at 00:00
FOLLOWING your front-page picture (TES, February 28), we write as a group of concerned parents of children at the New River Green early-years centre.

The image, coupled with the headline "Pupils get trigger happy", completely misleads. The photograph of a child holding a gun in an aggressive stance was staged by the photographer, resulting in a total misrepresentation of the child's character.

The opening line of the article "You be Saddam, I'll be Bush. Children at New River Green early-years centre brandish their own weapons of mass destruction" is total fabrication. Never have any of the staff heard children mention Saddam Hussein, George Bush, or weapons of mass destruction.

The article implies that an atmosphere of violent and disturbed behaviour exists within the centre - the exact opposite of reality. The lack of any comment from representatives of the centre further illustrates the gulf between the article's claims and grounded facts.

Such sensationalism and inaccuracy has potentially damaging effects on the nursery and its relationship with its community, thereby undermining the professionalism of its excellent staff.

As parents we are outraged that our children have been exploited in this way and extremely disappointed by the standard of journalism displayed by The TES on this occasion.

Sheila Harrison, Tricia Carroll, Sue Bowler and Sarah Salway on behalf of parents of children at New River Green early-years centre Marquess Road North Islington, London N1

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