SCHOOL staff suspended for allegedly locking a boy in a small room were acting after the pupil threatened to stab other children, it has emerged.
It is believed the boy told staff he had got a knife from the kitchen at Revoe Primary School and said he was going to stab them, other children and himself.
A relative of one of the suspended employees at the Grasmere Road School today claimed there was no choice but to place the child in a “cooling off room” - a quiet place for students to calm down in isolation.
Revoe residents had earlier said they had heard the child had been locked in a cupboard.
The relative said: “On the day of this alleged incident the child had threatened staff with a knife. He was causing absolute anarchy at the school and they feared for their own safety.
“Children there get so angry, they need to be on their own. “But this child wasn’t calming down.
“A social worker was called, but the question has to be asked, what do you do in that situation?”
It is believed the incident came after the boy made threats that he was going to use a knife - although at no stage did the boy have a knife in his possession.
The relative, who has asked not to be identified in fear of repercussions for her family member, said staff at Revoe had “constantly” called for help from Blackpool Council in dealing with unruly children in tough situations.
She said: “The behaviour at that school is so challenging. It’s absolutely incredible what staff have to put up with.
“Staff are constantly asking for direction and strategy to implement to deal with certain types of behaviour because they just do not know what to do.
“These teachers and staff members did everything they possible could to safeguard the children.”
The Gazette revealed yesterday how six staff members, including headteacher Cath Woodall, had been suspended from their posts at Revoe Primary following allegations of a child being placed in the room.
The staff members have been interviewed as part of an investigation by police and Blackpool Council, and Neil Hodgkins, headteacher at Devonshire Primary School, and Sandra Hall, headteacher at St John’s Primary School, have been drafted in to run the school.
The relative said: “It’s heart-breaking to see what’s happened. What else could they have done? He was threatening to stab himself, other children and members of staff.
“They were acting in the best interest of the children to prevent a child from damaging himself and others, and they do not deserve this. I feel so sad for them all.”
Teaching unions have been made aware of the situation at Revoe.
A spokeswoman from the National Union of Teachers said: “It would be wrong to comment while an investigation is ongoing, except to say that the union will be supporting its members.”
An NASUWT spokesman said members from the area had not been in touch.
He added: “Obviously if members do contact us they will be offered the full union support they are entitled to.”
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