The mother of an Inverurie Academy pupil has pulled her daughter out of school and is looking to leave the area after years of bullying “hell”.
Mum Margaret decided to take drastic action after leaving a meeting with Inverurie Academy head teacher Neil Hendry last week.
Her daughter is still registered as an S3 pupil at the school. However, Margaret is applying to have her home-schooled while they look at properties elsewhere.
“It became clear that they couldn’t keep her safe,” said Margaret.
She confirmed to The P&J that her daughter was staying at home while alternative education options are sorted out.
Bullying started from day one at Inverurie Academy
Margaret told us about the physical and verbal abuse her daughter had suffered at the hands of a group of “four or five” boys since starting at the school in 2021.
She says her daughter has only been at school “about 20% of the time since the beginning of S2”, as a result of her fear and anxiety of the bullies.
The abuse includes threatening, verbal abuse, being spat on, pushed to the ground, and having food and drink poured over her while prone on the ground.
“Eat that like the b**** you are”, the bullies are alleged to have said.
She also had pictures of her underwear taken while bending down, and the images AirDropped to devices across the school.
As a result of the bullying, the girl has been suffering from depression, severe anxiety, and chronic fatigue.
Margaret says she has spoken with the school “many times”, and has also been to the school in person several times.
She said Mr Hendry had told her that the bullies had been “dealt with appropriately”, and that all paperwork showed that all appropriate steps had been taken.
However, whenever her daughter is in school, the bullies continue to target her.
‘We just didn’t know what was wrong with her’: Family had blood tests taken for daughter
Margaret took her to the doctor after her and her husband noticed a change in her behaviour at home.
“She was turning night into day, she was sleeping all day and up all night.
“When the morning came and I said it was time to go to school, she’d say she had a sore tummy. Or it would be a sore head. Or she’d start shaking, or crying.
“She was spending more and more time in her room.
“She was just so low. We were very concerned.”
The girl had blood tests taken. “We just didn’t know what was wrong with her.”
Rather than anything physical, it turned out the girl was suffering from depression and severe anxiety, and as a result, chronic fatigue.
Margaret feels Inverurie Academy have failed in their duty to keep her daughter safe.
She says she’s been left frustrated by the school’s insistence that there isn’t a major problem.
‘What good is paperwork? My daughter is terrified’
“I’m just told the bullies have been ‘dealt with appropriately’. But whenever my daughter’s in school, she gets picked on by these same boys.
“The school tells me they have all the paperwork to show all the appropriate steps have been taken.
“But what good is paperwork? My daughter is terrified of that school, literally terrified.
“Those boys should be expelled, and my daughter allowed to get an education. Instead, they’re getting an education, and my daughter is stuck at home.”
At a meeting at Inverurie Academy last week, Margaret says she was simply told that there was no longer a problem.
“It was then I realised that they couldn’t keep her safe,” she said.
She said that homeschooling would be a “struggle” for the family. “But we’ll manage. We’ll have to, we don’t have much choice.”
‘We’ve been in Inverurie for 10 years. The last three have been hell’
Margaret is disabled and is in pain much of the time, with curvature of the spine and rheumatoid arthritis. Her husband cares for her at home.
Such is their dismay over their daughter’s deterioration, and what they perceive as Inverurie Academy’s lack of action, the family are looking at properties in Banff and Macduff, where Margaret’s husband’s family is based.
“We’ve been in Inverurie for 10 years. The last three have been hell.
“She used to take pride in her appearance, but even getting her to take a shower can be excruciating.
“It’s like she doesn’t care anymore, as if she’s given up.
“She goes days without eating. And then she’ll spend days binge-eating.
“Her life right now is the four walls of her room, and a screen.
“I just want her to be happy, and to have an enjoyable teenage life.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “Bullying of any kind is completely unacceptable and will not be condoned at Inverurie Academy, or indeed in any Aberdeenshire school.
“Where incidents of bullying do occur, these matters are dealt with thoroughly in line with our policies and procedures.
“All of our young people are given the support they need in order to feel safe and secure at school.”
Has your child had issues with bullying in school? Contact us at email@example.com