PARENTS say bullying at Rednock School has forced several pupils to leave – and that some have attempted suicide and self-harmed.
More than a dozen parents and pupils have spoken to the Gazette about their concerns that the Dursley school is not properly tackling bullying.
They said they had raised the issue with the school but felt the response was inadequate.
One mum, Fleur Winterbourne, said her daughter twice tried to kill herself due to bullying.
"She made a serious suicide attempt in December 2015 and spent two days at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital," Fleur said.
“In February 2016 she made another more serious attempt on her life after repeated bullying.
"The school did not contact us to even find out if she was still alive.
“It’s important to point out that Rednock does have some brilliant support staff but the anti-bullying policy is not fit for purpose.”
Another parent, Mandy Dorrington, said her daughter started self-harming and was later hospitalised after an overdose, and that she had to withdraw her from Rednock.
“We want to think our children will be safe at school but nothing was ever resolved," she said.
Many of the parents who spoke to the Gazette said their children were placed in isolation in an attempt to prevent the bullying, but this only made them feel alienated.
One pupil, Lena, said: “When I started self-harming, most of the kids would tell me to do it more and some even pointed to where they wanted me to cut.
"I was called names for the first part but then it went to being told to die and saying that ‘the world would be better without you.’
Rhea Wood, 16, recently left Rednock.
She told the Gazette: I had a group of about 10 girls come over to my mum’s car and circle me, mum and dad so we could not leave.”
She said in one incident 40-50 pupils chased her through the school shouting ‘slap her’, ‘beat her up’ and ‘why don’t you just kill yourself?’
Rhea said: “I had depression and anxiety and was told to not go back to the school.”
Many of the parents who spoke to the Gazette claimed Rednock's senior management told them their child should be withdrawn from the school.
Head teacher Dave Alexander said: “We have a strong anti-bullying process in place – written in consultation with the students at the school.
“If the parents concerned would please contact me directly I will talk to each of them individually and look into each and every concern, personally.”
After hearing the concerns of over a dozen parents, many more mums, dads and pupils came forward to say they had encountered bullying at the school.
Jane Lloyd-Davies, head of education performance and inclusion at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Bullying is an issue we take very seriously.
"No type of bullying is tolerated; talking with a teacher, parent, carer or friend is the first step to making it stop.”