Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bullied Boy Was Not Allowed Call

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bullied Boy Was Not Allowed Call

Article excerpt

Byline: By Liz Hands

An angry father is demanding a public apology from the school where his son was beaten by bullies and then not allowed to call his parents ( because he didn't ask properly.

Steve Kane, 43, claims staff at South Tynedale Middle School in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, ignored his son Mark's pleas to be allowed to call home after he was pushed to the ground, had stones thrown at him, was kicked and verbally abused.

Mark,11, has now moved to Hexham Middle School, where he is settling in well, but Steve said yesterday that despite trying for three months to get some sort of response from his old school, the issue had still not been sorted out.

Self-employed ceramic tiler Steve and his wife Neth, 41, an admin worker at Carlisle College, who is originally from the Philippines, say they were horrified when staff at the school refused to ring them when Mark asked to speak to his dad after the incidents.

"Mark was attacked from behind, pushed to the ground and kicked and punched about the head on two separate incidents on the same day. He was sworn at, stones were thrown at him and he was called an Arab," said Steve yesterday.

"He asked two teachers and a secretary at the school if he could call me, but they refused. I'm appalled by how Mark was treated.

"He's always been taught that if he's got a problem, he should go to the teachers. But that's what he did and nothing was done. They told him he couldn't call because he hadn't asked in an appropriate way, but he was upset.

"As far as I can make out, he was just repeating `I want to speak to my dad'. Then, as he kept being told he couldn't, he said `I want to speak to my dad now'. He hates bad language, so I'm sure it wouldn't have gone any further than that."

Steve believes the bullying was caused by jealousy. "Mark swims at county level, he plays piano to grade four, he plays rugby for the West Tyne team in Haydon Bridge, he has a green belt in karate and yellow belt in kick-boxing, so he can look after himself, but he didn't have much chance when he was attacked from behind. …

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