Principal: Possum Toss Contest 'Lets Kids Be Kids'

Animal activists furious after children hurl animal carcasses
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 23, 2010 2:50 AM CDT
A possum who escaped the hurling contest.   (?Sami Kein?nen)

(Newser) – Animal lovers are snarling after a New Zealand elementary school event featured children hurling possum carcasses. But the school principal insists the bizarre contest "lets kids be kids." Students in the rural Manawatu school lobbed the dead animals by their tails to see how far they could throw them at a school fundraiser festival. "It's morally wrong to throw a dead animal around. It's about time that people wake up and smell 2010 and realize that these sorts of things shouldn't be happening," said a spokesman for the local SPCA.

School principal Colin Martin apologized for any offense caused, but not for the event that involved possums killed by hunters, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. "The Possum Hunt and Gala was just what we needed. The positive response from the community was fantastic and served to bring the school and community closer together," he said. "The real positives were that children got to engage with the outdoors, learned that guns are tools, and gained a greater understanding of what it means to be humane in the destruction of pests. Colyton School is about letting kids be kids."
(Read more New Zealand stories.)

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