A simulation exercise at a Barbados school generated panic among some students, a protest on Saturday, and calls for the Education Minister’s resignation.
Reports indicated that security officials, with the blessing of the Education Ministry, planned Wednesday’s simulation at the Springer Memorial Secondary School.
It involved masked men entering the school compound with fake firearms, cutlasses and pieces of wood.
But, the reports indicated that most teachers and students were unaware of the exercise.
As a result, some students experienced anxiety and asthma attacks.
Worried parents converged on the learning institution to collect their children.
One mother told local media she received a call indicating that her daughter became traumatised due to the simulation.
The mother said she also became traumatised when she heard what had happened.
Principal Cheryl Gill told the Barbados-based Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that the intention was to prepare Springer Memorial School to respond to a real-life situation requiring a lockdown.
Gill said staff received briefings.
In addition, the Principal said the lockdown lasted about four minutes, and medical personnel attended to the students who panicked.
“None of the students had to be taken away,” Gill disclosed, adding that some parents collected children ‘in an orderly manner’.
In addition, she apologised to those whom the drill had impacted negatively.
Nevertheless, on Saturday, Barbados Today reported that about one hundred people held a protest march through Bridgetown.
According to the online publication, placard-carrying protesters urged Education Minister Kay McConney to resign.