Head’s warning as school danger stunts go online

Throston Grange Primary School headteacher Mark Atkinson in the playground with the shed that is used by people who are Free-Running. Picture by FRANK REID
Throston Grange Primary School headteacher Mark Atkinson in the playground with the shed that is used by people who are Free-Running. Picture by FRANK REID

A WORRIED headteacher has urged youngsters to think about their actions after finding online videos of children performing dangerous stunts on school premises.

Mark Atkinson, headteacher at Throston Primary School, in Flint Walk, Hartlepool, says he has been aware of people trespassing on to the school grounds in the past, but has never seen it himself.

But he was left shocked at the weekend when he was shown clips on YouTube of young children doing jumps and stunts in the school’s playground and garden areas.

Three videos, show youngsters trying stunts such as jumping over fences and from wall to wall. At one point, the youngsters even jump from a shed roof on to the concrete floor.

After watching the videos, Mr Atkinson said he is worried about the children injuring themselves or damaging property.

He said he doesn’t know whether children are aware of how risky it is to publish content online and fears other youngsters may watch the videos and try the stunts themselves.

“It’s worrying when you see videos like this,” said Mr Atkinson.

“I realise that kids are kids and they like to be outside with their friends. But it is only a matter of time before they seriously injure themselves or damage property.

“They are walking on and jumping off the roof of a shed. Underneath there is just concrete and if they slip or fall they will hurt themselves.”

It isn’t clear from the videos as to exactly when they were filmed.

Mr Atkinson says he doesn’t recognise either of the two children featured in the clips. But he confirmed neither of them were pupils at his school.

Nearby residents have told Mr Atkinson about similar incidents in the past.

He said: “We just wanted to bring it to the public’s attention that this was going on,” he added.

“We are worried about the safety of the children. They look young in the video. One looks like he may only be a primary school pupil and I don’t know whether their parents will know that they are going out and doing this.”