Missing pupil found hiding in the school toilets to avoid bullies

A student hid in the toilets for three school days to escape bullies, his father said.

The teenager, who is attending a secondary school in Bristol called Cotham School, had been on the school premises but had taken refuge in a toilet cubicle.

The Cotham School confirmed that it is investigating allegations of bullying and working with the students and family to address the issue.

The school contacted the student’s parents last week when he failed to show up for class after signing up. Bristol Live Reports.

His father said, “I assumed I was going to be in school to attend classes, but found out on Wednesday morning that he was missing at school.

“When we called, they confirmed that he hadn’t been at school for three days. This panicked us as parents because we didn’t know what happened.

“We found out that he had locked himself in the school toilet for bullying.

“They don’t take the situation or the wellbeing of people very seriously [my son]who has been on the toilet for three days. “

While his father acknowledged incidents of bullying, he claimed the school did not contact him Monday or Tuesday to report his absence and did not receive any correspondence until Wednesday.

The student’s identity is kept anonymous.

He added: “When I told them I had not received any text [on Monday or Tuesday]They said they had never had this problem and their system never failed.

“I said, ‘are you saying I’m lying?'”

The school attendance policy for unexplained absences states: “Where no contact has been made with the school [explaining the absence]the school will contact the parents by text on the first day of their absence. “

The student’s parents picked him up and brought him to school as usual that week, although he didn’t know how he had spent his day.

His father said he understood that there was a disagreement with some of the other students and that they “got into” him and threatened to harm him.

He added, “It’s different from him. This is the only time. He’s a good student, a good learner.

“I tell him you go to school to study, not to fight or argue or anything. He doesn’t like problems.”

He said he was “extremely disappointed” with the school’s reaction and that he felt that the staff did not show enough compassion for his son.

He continued, “I don’t want to blame anyone, but this should be a learning point. I don’t want anyone else to have this problem.”

According to Cotham, bullying is taken “very seriously”.

A Cotham School spokesman said: “We take allegations of bullying and the welfare of our students very seriously and are working with this family to investigate.

“We are of course sad that one of our students could not go to class after registering at school or contact one of our excellent and well-trained pastors for support.

“When we were made aware of the bullying allegations just last week, senior and pastoral workers met with the family and we immediately investigated their concerns.”

This investigation is ongoing and the family met with the school principal yesterday (Monday) to discuss their concerns.

The spokesman said they were “deeply saddened” that the family reached out to Bristol Live prior to the meeting, adding, “We hoped to work with them to address their concerns and make their child at school as effective as possible to support.”

During the school’s last Ofsted inspection in 2018, when it was rated ‘good’, the inspectors said, “Students report that although bullying sometimes happens, it is treated well by the staff.”


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