The parents of a girl with haemophilia who was attacked for being GINGER won’t send her back to school – for fear she could be bullied to death.
Crystal Pugh has been punched and kicked by cruel peers since she started high school last year – and dubbed ‘ginger freak’.
But the 12-year-old also suffers with haemophilia – an inherited condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot – meaning if she has a nosebleed she could die.
She and her family feel it was the final straw after Crystal was attacked in a PE lesson on Friday morning (20 Jan) – where she was attacked during a lesson.
The Year 8 pupil said she was “shoved” onto the floor before being hit twice in the back and was left with bruises up her back.
Crystal wears glasses and describes herself as a “bit of a hippy, born in the wrong decade”.
She said: “I was in PE, I wasn’t doing PE, but I was sitting in on the class. Someone shoved me to the floor. It was out of the blue.
“And then someone else punched me in the spine, twice. The only one in that class who did anything was one other girl who stayed with me until the teacher noticed.
“They haven’t been punished for it. They’ve never had a detention for bullying.”
Crystal said she is already isolated by her condition, which limits her from doing particular activities, but bullying has also taken its toll on how she felt.
“The call me ‘rat’, they say I’m fat,” she said.
“They call me a ‘ginger freak’. I think it’s because I’m ginger and wear glasses and because I’m a bit different.”
The headteacher at the school, Kingswood Academy in Hull, East Yorks., said the school had been praised by Ofsted for its anti-bullying policy and there had been no reports of “punching” or injuries after Friday morning’s incident.
Dale Jackson said: “The alleged incident in Friday’s lesson has been fully investigated.
“The investigation disputes the claim that any students were involved in incidents of punching.
“The teacher checked in with the students involved at the end of the PE lesson and all students confirmed they were fine and no injuries were reported.
“Kingswood Academy has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.
“Incidents of bullying are effectively dealt with at Kingswood Academy and the relevant support and intervention is put in place.
“This is backed up by our most recent full Ofsted inspection.”
Crystal’s parents, Gareth and Trisha, from Hull, said they were not informed of what happened.
“They should have called me immediately because they don’t know how serious it could have been”
“Instead, she had to spend the whole day at school, and she could have had internal bleeding.” Trisha said.
Gareth, who also has the blood disorder, said: “It is scary. It means if she has a nosebleed, and it’s serious, she would probably bleed to death.”
Trisha said they will not be sending Crystal or her older sister Casey back to the school.
The mum-of-four said: “It’s been going on for about two years. We know that bullying does happen and kids will probably always pick on her, but when you ring up and they don’t seem to do anything about it, it makes you angry.
“We are going to look into home-schooling until she can go to college.”
Mr Jackson said Kingswood had worked hard with the family to address Crystal’s needs.
He said: “With regards to this particular student, myself and the head of year have met with Mrs Pugh on numerous occasions over the last year.
“I have always had a good relationship with Mrs Pugh, so to say the academy has done nothing is simply not true.
“A range of support and many strategies have been put in place over the last year.
“In addition to this a specific health plan designed by the academy and the NHS is in place to support this student with her condition.
“Due to the student’s condition she does not take an active part in PE lessons.
“Mrs Pugh emailed myself Friday evening to inform me of her concerns. The academy attempted to set up a meeting with myself and Mrs Pugh on Monday but the offer was declined.”