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Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 10:09 UK

Fury at school 'mock hanging'

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The Australian authorities have ordered an inquiry after a boy fell with a rope around his neck during a mock hanging staged as part of a school activity.

The student was being photographed as part of a staged crime scene at Laidley State High school in Queensland when he slipped and fell, officials said.

Fellow students said he turned blue as teachers rushed to cut the rope at the school near Brisbane.

State Education Minister Geoff Wilson said the incident "beggars belief".

He said Queensland's health and safety teams were investigating.

"We want to find out how it took place so that whatever action needs to be taken can be taken to ensure that such an incident can never happen again," he said.

"I'm a parent - the last thing I've ever wanted any of my children to do is put a rope around their neck and I'm astonished that the incident's taken place."

Recovering

The incident happened as a class of 14 and 15 year olds were photographing the "crime scene" as part of an English lesson, state deputy education director Lyn McKenzie said.

This is clearly a very serious incident
Geoff Wilson
Queensland's education minister

The boy fell from a table with a rope around his neck, injuring his neck.

Local media reported that the teacher was not in the classroom at the time, but rushed in after hearing the screams of students.

The boy is reported to be recovering at home with his family.

Mr Wilson said he wanted to keep an "open mind" over the investigation, but said he expected any recommendations to be implemented immediately.

"This is clearly a very serious incident," he said. "The safety and wellbeing of students must be the first priority at all times".



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Country profile: Australia
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