Bullied boy, 10, with special needs forced to list reasons why his classmates don’t like him on poster stuck up in classroom

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A BOY with special needs was forced to list reasons why his classmates don’t like him on a poster that was then stuck on his classroom wall.

The 10-year-old had complained of being bullied at Allenton Community Primary School in Derby last November.

A bullied boy was forced to listen to his classmates giving reasons why they don’t like him – and then had to draw them on a poster that was stuck up in the classroom
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The boy, 10, had complained of being bullied at Allenton Community Primary School in Derby
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But instead of the bullies being punished, the lad – who has ADHD and is on the special education needs register – was forced to listen to his classmates’ cruel gripes.

He then had to list them on a hand-drawn poster that was put up in the classroom for the rest of term, the Observer reports.

Damian Lightoller, the boy’s dad, said he and his partner were left stunned when their son brought the poster home at the end of the school year earlier this month.

It featured a drawing of the schoolboy – who’s not been named – with a thought-bubble that reads: “How can I get the other children to like me?”

‘BE HAPPY, NOT SAD’

He was told by his peers to “be happy, not sad”, “stop shouting” and “stop annoying us”.

Fuming Mr Lightoller told the Observer: “[My son] approached his behaviour mentor and said he was being bullied and was upset the other children didn’t like him.

“So, to try to tackle this, his [behaviour mentor’s] idea was apparently to find out why the other children didn’t like him.

“So he sat [my son] down, asked the other children why they didn’t like him, and tried to tell [my son] to change those things.

“My son sought help from a teacher, and rather than discipline the other children for bullying, [the mentor] blamed the victim and said ‘well you need to not do this, this, this and this’.”

‘RESTORATIVE JUSTICE’

After complaining, Mr Lightoller claimed that the school’s headteacher Jon Fordham described the session to them as “restorative justice”.

He said the head questioned “why we’d bothered to raise it and why we even had an issue with it in the first place”.

Mr Lightoller added that he and his partner have been left “furious, upset and hurt” by their son’s ordeal.


Neither the school’s sponsor Transform Trust nor Mr Fordham have commented.

Gillian Doherty, founder of special needs charity SEND, said: “No child should be singled out and made to feel unwelcome at school.”

She added: “It’s vital schools seek early specialist advice on how best to support children with special needs without undermining their self-esteem.”

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