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4:40am Thursday 6th March 2014
By Anna Roberts, Crime reporter
A father has told how his 12-year-old daughter tried to take her own life after being bullied for more than a year.
Charlotte was set to be discharged from Worthing Hospital last night after making an attempt to end her own life on Monday evening, her father Kenny May said.
Police are now investigating the incident. Charlotte’s school – Shoreham Academy – is also aware of what happened.
Mr May told how a family friend discovered Charlotte “lethargic” in the bath.
She said she had “done something silly” and she was rushed to hospital, where it emerged she had taken pills.
Medics kept her in and Mr May, who is no longer with Charlotte’s mother, said she was physically recovering well.
His daughter told him she attempted suicide because she was being bullied at school and via the internet.
Mr May said messages were sent to Charlotte via SnapChat – an instant messaging service – which said she should “die” and said her boyfriend did not like her.
Mr May said he had previously held meetings with the school to discuss concerns about the alleged bullying, but he thought the school had not taken his concerns sufficiently seriously.
Speaking at his home in Butts Court, Southwick, yesterday, Mr May said: “Now – since what happened – they are begging for meetings.
“The school says it has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying but I don’t believe this to be the case.
“I asked her, ‘Why did you do it?’. She said it was because of the bullying. She said, ‘I am scared of the bully’.
“I feel so strongly about this – not just for Charlotte but for other generations.”
He described his daughter as a lovely girl and “a fantastic dancer”. “Everything she does, she does with 100%.”
The school website states bullying will not be tolerated and it includes advice for students.
A spokesman for the academy said: “We are currently looking into the details of this distressing incident, which took place last night and are in contact with the family.
“We take the wellbeing of all of our students extremely seriously and have robust systems in place to deal with any welfare issues”.
A Sussex Police statement said: “This was reported to police on Tuesday and an officer is attending the home of the girl’s dad to speak to him.
“The school’s officer has also been made aware of the incident.”
COMMENT ON ARTICLE:
“My daughter went through this at St Bedes. Teachers were informed that she was taking anti depressants for depression due to the bullying. You would think that was enough to investigate? It then led on to an overdose. Her father and I went to the school only for the headmaster to say “it’s not our fault your daughter has committed suicide” !! (My daughter had not died) the school refused to take any ownership and we didn’t return our daughter to the school. Bullying should be made a criminal offense. The self esteem, trust and confidence issues people suffer after bullying last a life time! I Hope this young girl makes a speedy recovery and the school take ownership of this issue.”