HARROWING scenes depicting Sophie Lancaster’s death have been played out to pupils at a Blackburn school to mark International Day for Tolerance.

Fifteen and 16-year-olds at Blakewater College said they were left “heartbroken” after learning that the 20-year-old was killed because of her “gothic” appearance.

Kate Conboy-Greenwood, campaign manager of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, was invited to the school in a bid to tackle stereotypes and prejudices.

A “distressing” two-minute cartoon about the attack on Sophie in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, in 2007, was shown, and actvities were carried out involving choosing who to be friends with based on appearances.

Magid Ditta, deputy head at Blakewater, said: “We have a very multicultural school and we want to celebrate the diversity of our community.

“It is especially relevant to us after hearing how a student at Blackburn College was recently targetted because of his long hair.

“In school we try to help pupils manage their feelings and emotions and to realise that everybody is valuable.

“The feedback we got after the sessions was very encouraging and shows that the sessions achieved what we wanted them to.”

Kate said: “We were delighted by the pupil’s response.

“The year 11 pupils will be leaving school next summer so it’s important that they are shown what happens in the real world where there are lots of subcultures and not everybody wears a uniform.

“The responses after the session were fantastic- the pupils really seemed to be touched by what we were trying to show them.”

For more information visit: www.sophielancasterfoundation.com