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29th May, 2022

'It could have been us' - close shave for Rugby students who left Westmister 15 minutes before attack

Andy Morris 23rd Mar, 2017

‘IT COULD have been us’… These were the thoughts of Rugby High School students who were stood in the spot of the Westminster terrorist attack yesterday (Wednesday March 22) just 15 minutes before it happened.

Eight AS Level Politics students visited the Palace of Westminster yesterday – but the 16-17-year-olds were already on the bus home when the attacker struck.

Head Teacher Charlotte Marten told The Observer: “Some of the students felt a little bit shaken becuase they were thinking about how it could have been them, and of course it could have been.

“We’re tremendously grateful that they’ve come home, that they’re safe and well, and that they’d actually had a really useful day in the Palace of Westminster learning about voting systems, which is why they went.”

The staff and students heard about the attack on a news report while travelling home.

Mrs Marten said: “Deputy Head Mark Grady, who was on the trip, rang into school and said ‘you might not have heard what’s going on in Westminster but we’re out and we’re on our way home.’

“So most parents first heard about the incident at the same time they were told their child was safe, and in an ideal world that’s what you want.

“I spoke to a couple of the students after they got back and I made sure they were ok.

“We talked about not letting it wipe out the otherwise great day they had. Sadly, these things do happen, but it was important not to dwell on it too much.”

She added it was business as usual as a trip to the Bank of England took place as planned today (Thursday March 23).

she said: “The safety of our staff and students is our primary concern, but you can’t give in to terrorism. You can’t be foolish or foolhardy about it, but you can’t give in to it.

“Obviously the staff and students feel very concerned for all those people who were caught up in the incident, especially for people and their families who were injured or indeed killed.”

A police officer was stabbed and his attacker shot after a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

Four people were killed, including the attacker and parliament police officer Keith Palmer.

The attacker ran over pedestrians, killing two, on Westminster Bridge with a grey Hyundai i40 before crashing it into railings, then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster and stabbing the officer. 29 people were injured.

The House of Commons was put in lockdown, with many MPs – including Rugby MP Mark Pawsey – confined to the Commons chamber after parliamentary business was suspended.

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