Friday, 3 Feb 2023

Family of schoolboy ‘beaten like a dog’ fears a child will die

Scotland: Schoolboy beaten in field by gang of youths

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The family of a schoolboy, who allegedly came under attack, is scared that repeated acts of violence by a gang of youths could spill over with tragic results. The 13-year-old was allegedly “beaten like a dog” after being lured into a field by a group of teenagers in the Highlands on Thursday night. Video footage of the alleged assault, which spread online, shows the youngster lying on the ground while being repeatedly kicked and struck on the head and body. As the attack goes on, onlookers can be heard laughing and shouting.

The video has sparked fears among the boy’s relatives, including his uncle who says he fears a child will be seriously hurt or killed if fighting continues. 

The 46-year-old told the Daily Record: “My nephew was beaten like a dog and it will not be long before a child is killed.

“So what will it take before someone steps in to stop this violence among kids right now? Will it be when a kid hits the ground and dies? Or when a child takes their own life?

“There has to be tougher consequences for kids and that has to start within schools, by introducing tougher punishments.”

The uncle added: “The police can only do so much and their hands are tied with the problem. Does someone actually have to lose a child before something serious is done about this?”

The boy’s family claims that after the alleged incident on Thursday, he was left “black and blue,” and that he is now unwilling to leave the house or go back to school.

The teenager is believed to be experiencing trauma after the attack, as he told his big brother he “can’t take it anymore”. His loved ones are now deeply concerned for his well-being.

As a result, the uncle said, his nephew “has become withdrawn and isn’t speaking much”. The fact he told his brother he “can’t take it anymore” is “not normal for a child of 13”, he added.

According to the boy’s family, bullying is nothing new. The boy has had issues at school for months and has food thrown at him. Despite complaints, the school has been unable to stop the issued.

The boy’s uncle claimed bullies “are running riot because they know there is no discipline”.

A spokesperson for Highland Council, which runs the school said: “All of our schools take any complaints about bullying very seriously and follow national policy on dealing with incidents to ensure each school has a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone.”

According to Statista, nearly half of all children aged between 12 and 20 were targeted for bullying in Britain due to their appearance, while a further 30 percent thought that they were targeted because of their hobbies and interests.

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A report by the Anti-Bullying Alliance released in 2022 found that almost one in four (24 percent) report being bullied in England and Wales, with pupils on Free School Meals (30 percent) and those with special needs or disabilities (31 percent) being more likely to be frequently bullied.

With the advent of social media, pupils are increasingly victims of cyberbullying. According to a survey conducted by Ditch the Label, a UK-based anti-bullying charity, up to 27% of surveyed students in schools and colleges across the UK reported having experienced some form of cyberbullying.

Out of 13,387 UK students aged 12–18, 27 percent identified their bullying experience as cyberbullying, the report adds, with name-calling, swearing, and insults being the most common type of cyberbullying experienced by children in England and Wales.

All schools must follow anti-discrimination law, meaning staff must act to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the school, the UK government says on its website.

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