Burnley girl withdrawn from school after year of 'terrifying' bullying

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Megan Blake Megan Blake

A MUM has taken her 13-year-old daughter out of school after claiming she has been bullied for more than a year.

Toni Blake, 32, said Megan had been spat at, verbally abused and had a chair thrown at her during lessons at Colne Primet Academy.

Police were also called to the school after the teenager was threatened by a boy with a plastic knife.

Officers from Lancashire Police issued ’words of advice’ to a male pupil after teachers said the knife was ‘pretend’.

The Dent Street academy said it had a 'zero tolerance' approach to bullying.

But Ms Blake said she had twice attended meetings with Megan’s head of house and the problems have continued.

She said: “It’s the same group all the time. They’re having a laugh if they think that’s zero-tolerance.”

Ms Blake said the incident was just the latest in a campaign of bullying that prompted her to withdraw Megan from the academy.

She said: “I’ve been complaining to the school since Megan started in year seven but they haven’t done anywhere near enough to stop it.

“Megan has been moved out of classes but then she gets put in lower sets, which isn’t fair, it seems that it is Megan being punished for this.

“She is adamant it was a real knife. It was absolutely terrifying for her and she was badly affected by it. She has been put on tablets for anxiety and panic attacks since. "The school didn’t even tell me about the incident.

“It’s been going on for over a year now and something has to be done to stop it. It is name-calling, throwing things at her, things like that.”

Megan, whose sister Trudi is in year 10 at the same school, is now being schooled at home by her family, with guidance from the Education Otherwise charity.

“I can’t have Megan going to that school with the situation as it is,” said Toni. “I would rather do it this way and know she is safe.

“It was one boy who was doing most of the bullying but some of his friends are also involved now.

“Whenever Megan retaliates she is put in isolation or detention. I’ll be keeping her off school until the situation changes.”

A police spokesman said they had been called about the ‘knife’ incident in March and were satisfied that it was not real.

Officers spoke to the boy involved and issued ‘words of advice’ about his actions, the spokesman added.

Anita Ghidotti, executive principal at Colne Primet Academy, said the school was unable to comment on any individual student.

But she said: "Parents can be assured that we take any reports of unhappiness or problems that our students are experiencing very seriously and deal with them immediately, as we did in this instance.

“We are a small, family orientated school and at all times the needs of our students and their parents are at the heart of what we do.

“We have a zero tolerance policy towards bullying and poor behaviour and work closely with students and their parents to resolve any concerns that they might have.

“We work hard to ensure that our students are happy and successful.”

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