Boy reported missing from lessons ‘had hid in toilets for 3 days to escape bullies’
A schoolboy reported missing from lessons by teachers had actually spent three days hiding out in the toilets to escape bullies, his dad claims.
The teenager, who has not been named, was said to have gone undetected in the bathroom over the days he was missing from his Bristol school.
Staff at Cotham School reported his absence to his parents as truancy, his dad claims.
But when confronted about teachers’ claims he was skipping lessons, the pupil revealed he had been in the school all along – but had taken refuge in the loos to escape his tormentors.
His dad has since criticised Cotham School for the way the situation was handled, believing he should have been contacted sooner.
He said: “When I told them I hadn’t received a text [on Monday or Tuesday], they said they’d never had that issue before and their system had never failed.
“I said, ‘are you saying I’m lying?’
“They don’t take the situation very seriously or the wellbeing of [my son], who has been in the toilet for three days.”
The school, which caters for secondary school and sixth form, has since launched an investigation and the boy’s parents have met with the headteacher.
A spokesperson for Cotham School said: “We take allegations of bullying and the wellbeing of our students very seriously and are working with this family to investigate.
“We are, of course, saddened that one of our students felt unable to go to lessons after registering in school or to approach one of our excellent and well-trained pastoral staff for support.
“When we were made aware of the allegations of bullying only very recently last week, senior and pastoral staff met with the family and we immediately launched an investigation into their concerns.”
It is understood that the boy was threatened by a group of other pupils following a disagreement.
Anyone experiencing bullying in school or the workplace can seek free support via the National Bullying Helpline on 0845 225 5787, which is open from Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.
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