'He was petrified': Rainham mother calls for more action on bullying
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A mother has called for more urgent action to tackle bullying after her son became the target of alleged abuse.
Veronique Jones, 41, alleges her son became the victim of racial abuse and bullying just after the second lockdown.
The mother-of-two claims her 12-year-old son, who attended Harris Academy in Rainham at the time, was branded an offensive name and suffered scratches on the back of his neck.
A spokesperson for Harris Academy said students' welfare is of the "utmost importance", and bullying is "dealt with appropriately" where it has been found to have taken place.
Veronique said the alleged bullying escalated when an abusive photo was circulated around the school.
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She said her son was “petrified” to go into school but claimed the academy took “very little action” until the police got involved - the academy says it resolves bullying "quickly and strongly".
A child has now been disciplined with a "yellow card", Veronique said.
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A spokesperson for Harris Academy Rainham said: “The welfare and wellbeing of our students is of the utmost importance.
“Like any good school, if bullying occurs, we resolve it quickly and strongly.”
The Met Police confirmed that on Friday, July 9 they received a report of a "racially aggravated hate crime relating to a 12-year-old boy at a school in Rainham”.
They said officers met with the boy and his mother, who said they did not "wish any further police involvement and would progress the matter with the school".
Veronique said her son hasn’t left his bedroom for two weeks: "They keep saying that he needs to attend school but he is terrified of this boy.”
In a bid to bring normality, Veronique has moved him to another school but is waiting for un-enrolment confirmation from Harris Academy.
A spokesperson for Harris Academy Rainham said they have asked Veronique to engage with them so they can investigate further.
They said: “If bullying is found to have taken place, we will ensure this is dealt with appropriately.”