A school where three young pupils have committed suicide within 12 months has been hit by new bullying allegations. The latest youngster to take his own life was Arin Lyth, 13, who died on January 12, after leaving Northfield School in Billingham, Teesside, in the North East of England, where he had faced bullying.
Two other pupils at the same school, Elton Harland, 13, and Harry Gray, 15, killed themselves last April. Harry was found hanging outside his bedroom by his heartbroken mother when she returned home to make dinner, while Elton died two days after the death of his friend. Following the tragic deaths, parents have revealed the terrifying ordeals their own children have gone through at the school, which they say is being run by bullies. Northfield School was attended by actor Jamie Bell, who played dancer Billy Elliot in the film of the same name.
Many say that headteacher Craig Walker has turned a blind eye to bullying. One woman, Tracy Waters, 44, said that her 17 year old son Kaiyne was almost driven to suicide after suffering verbal and physical abuse from the age of just 11. She said that her boy’s cheekbone was fractured and, as a result, he suffered a seizure meaning he was hospitalised. She said that he had to take two weeks off school, but the boy who attacked him was excluded for just two days.
Head master Mr Walker said that any reports of bullying were taken very seriously by the school and pointed out that anti bullying work carried out was praised by Ofsted and recognised with a Lady Diana Award. He also offered his condolences to Arin’s loved ones.
Meanwhile, Ofsted said that it had carried out a review of Northfield’s anti-bullying policies during an inspection in July last year. Inspectors said they would be now reviewing evidence held on file and could carry out an emergency inspection.