Tees

Northfield School 'in denial' over bullying of suicide boys

Arin Lyth Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Arin Lyth was found dead in a field in January

The family of a schoolboy who killed himself after being bullied claim his school was "in denial" about the issue.

Arin Lyth, 13, from Billingham, County Durham, was found hanging in a field behind his home in January.

Teesside assistant coroner Jo Wharton ruled his death a suicide. It comes a year after Harry Gray, 15, killed himself.

Both were pupils at Northfield School and Sports College which said it treats bullying claims with "utmost urgency".

Northfield School said Arin's death was "tragic" and "nothing is more important to us than the safety of out students".

The school said Ofsted inspectors were "confident" in the school's approach to tackling bullying although that did not "lessen the sense of sadness we feel and we are far from complacent".

'Bullied every day'

An inquest into a third pupil who died, Harry's friend Elton Harland, is yet to take place.

Elton, 13, died in April 2016 several days after Harry, having tweeted tributes to his friend.

Following Arin's inquest, his grandmother Ann Lyth said the bullying had been "every day".

She said the school was in "pure denial" over the problem.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Harry Gray died in April 2016

She said pupils at Northfield School told her grandson they hated him because he looked like his brother and then started bullying him.

"They targeted my daughter's house, the police were phoned, it was looked into," she said.

Police visited the parents and the bullying seemed to calm down for about two weeks but then "it started all over again", she added.

'Far from complacent'

Cleveland Police said an investigation had been opened into the teenagers' death but no charges were brought.

The inquest heard how bullies targeted Arin Lyth at school, on the way home from school and on social media.

Stones were thrown at his family home and he was encouraged to harm himself.

Northfield School said Arin's death was "tragic" and "nothing is more important to us that the safety of out students".

The school said Ofsted inspectors were "confident" in the school's approach to tackling bullying although that does not "lessen the sense of sadness we feel and we are far from complacent".

  • Details of organisations offering information and support with mental health are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 08000 564 756.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites