The scene which greeted staff arriving at Anderton Park School in Birmingham before morning assembly was chilling.
A dead dog had been left outside — not just left but, with medieval brutality, strung up on the railings at the entrance and displayed like something you might see in a horror film.
We now know it was not simply a random act of sadistic animal cruelty; Anderton, whose catchment area covers Sparkhill, a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood, was chosen deliberately.
The school had received an anonymous call the previous day warning headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson about what was going to happen.
It was spelt out in a death threat sent to her on social media at around the same time, in which someone had written: ‘Any headteacher who teaches my children it’s alright to be gay will be at the end of my shotgun.’