An 11 year-old boy has been taken out of his primary school by his mother who says he has been bullied for two years for being ginger.
Sarah Carver has called in police over the treatment she claims young Sonny has suffered because of his hair colour.
She said the Year Six youngster regularly came home with scratches and bruises and cruel classmates called him ‘ginger nut’ and ‘a skank’.
One day he returned with a black eye and on another occasion had to wear his PE shorts after being dragged through a puddle, soaking his school uniform.
The final straw came last month when Sonny was attacked on his way home from school and a member of the public had to step in to save him.
He was pinned against a wall and was being punched and a bicycle was being ridden over his feet.
Worried Sarah, who had first alerted police last November, called them again after the incident.
She had already taken Sonny to a GP who told her he was ‘depressed’ because of what he had been suffering.
She has now moved him out of Cobholm Primary in Great Yamouth, Norfolk and accused staff of failing to tackle the bullying.
Sarah, 38, a medical lab technician, said: “As a parent you put your trust in the teachers when you send your children to school. You expect them to be looked after.
“It’s outrageous that Sonny had to leave his friends behind and move to a different school and the boys that attacked him were not expelled or suspended even for just one day.
“The school have handled this so badly. I don’t want it to happen to another child.”
Sarah, a mother-of-three, added: “I don’t know why the bullies chose to target Sonny.
“They would call him a skank and ginger nut because of his hair colour – it was outrageous.
“His hair’s not bright orange, it is more of a strawberry blonde.
“I wonder whether it was because we didn’t live close to the school so maybe they saw Sonny as an outsider.
“But whatever their twisted reasons were there’s no excuse.
“I was so worried about him I took him to the GP and the doctor said he was depressed because of bullying. An 11-year-old boy should not be made to feel depressed.
“No child should have to go through what he’s been through, especially when it’s affecting his mental state.
“I cannot bear to imagine what Sonny was going through being pinned up against a wall. He was helpless.
“I’m so grateful to the member of public who got out and helped him and called the school.”
Sonny has now moved to Glebeland Community Primary School in Toft Monks near Beccles, Suffolk, where he started after half term.
Sarah said: “Sonny is really enjoying his new school. It is so lovely to see him with a smile on his face.
“We’re lucky that his new school has worked out and I am thankful as it could have been worse.”
Norfolk police said they were investigating the reported attack on Sonny on May 23 and a spokeman confirmed he was left with reddening to his face and arm.
Julie Risby, head at Cobholm Primary School, said: “We do not tolerate bullying in our school and have a very strong anti-bullying policy.
“Staff are committed to the principle that bullying, in any form, is unacceptable and we investigate fully every reported incidence or allegation of bullying, as has happened in this case.
“We understand a complaint has been made to police following an alleged incident outside of school, and we are co-operating fully with their investigation.”
Director of bullying charity Kidscape Claude Knight said: “Schools are often in denial that they have a bullying problem.
“‘Your child is over-sensitive’, ‘You are an over-protective parent’, ‘It’s just children being children’, ‘We can’t do anything unless we actually see it happening’ are a few of the excuses used to avoid addressing the problem.
“The school has a duty of care to keep children safe ‘in loco parentis’, they should have an anti-bullying policy by law and parents have a right to ask for a copy, to find out how the bullying will be resolved.”