10-Yr-Old With Special Needs Attempts Suicide After Extreme Bullying: 'Even His Teachers Didn't Help'

10-Yr-Old With Special Needs Attempts Suicide After Extreme Bullying: 'Even His Teachers Didn't Help'

Caleb Hills from Canterbury, Kent, was racially abused at The Orchard School after which his Mother Tyler claimed that even the school authorities didn't support nor defend him.

A ten-year-old student from The Orchard School in Caterbury, Kent attempted to take his own life after being viciously bullied by racists. Caleb Hills committed suicide last year after his own fellow pupils tormented him for two years with the 'n-word'. When Caleb initially took this up with his teachers, all they told him was that he needed to build up a 'resilience to racism'. The Orchard School has recorded over 200 such racial incidents in the two years that Caleb studied there.


Mail Online reported that the school's primary division only has four students who are of a mixed-ethnic background, out of the 101 total strength. Caleb's mother Tyler Hills was furious upon hearing of these prolonged incidnts. She accused the school of failing to protect her son and take proper action against the racist who made Caleb's life a living hell. The outlet confirmed that the school council has agreed to pay for Caleb's private education to make up for their lack of responsibility in administrating the matter efficiently. 


Caleb's mother said that her son, who is of mixed race, was told by the school that he had to sit and accept the 'apologies' of the bullies' as they complied with the school's behavioral code. "But the bullying didn't end", his mother said. She claims that the constant verbal abuse changed her boy's "lovely, bubbly and talktaive personality" quite dramatically. Caleb started to become more anxious and reluctatnt to even attend school. And once he could no longer handle the trauma, he attempted to hang himself last summer. 

"I found him in his bedroom. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach and helpless. He said 'they keep calling me mean things, they're not nice to me, I keep telling the teachers but they're not listening.' Ms. Hills, who is a mother-of-four told the outlet. Caleb was removed from the school in May, shortly after his suicide attempt. The family claims that the staff at the school were given "more than enough time" to put a complete end to the bullying and make the incident public knowledge. Caleb is also struggling with several learning disabilities and also takes antidepressants to cope with his internal stress. 


When Caleb first approached his mother and informed her about what was going on, she was shocked. "My gut dropped when he asked me what does it (the n-word) mean" recalled Ms. Hills. Her immediate reaction was to blame the school, naturally. "I thought, 'how dare you allow my child to be treated like that? 'I've got to sit here and explain to him what this means. He's a baby - I shouldn't have to be going through all this, not at this age." she said. It was after her initial complaint to the school authorities that she heard the outrageous statement that "Caleb needed to build resilience to racism". Normalizing racism or trying to hush it down is no way to deal with such issues. 


Caleb's mom was earnest and vigilant in her goal to seek justice for what had happened. "e are in the 2019 and schools should be at the forefront of cracking down on racism, not condoning it under the guise of special needs. It may be the reason for it but it's not an excuse." she said. Caleb said that many pupils would constantly use derogatory racial slurs near him, and some would even say it right to his face. "It made me angry and upset because I know what the n-word actually means. I didn't want to go to school because they harassed me all day," he said. 


Mail Online also reported that Jim Simon, the CEO of the Restorative Justice Council, raised concerns about the number of times the practice was used to deal with the situation. He added a large number of racial incidents recorded at the school "suggest the current systems in place are not having the desired impact." The Orchard School's headmistress Annabel Lilley said: "School staff, governors, the local authority and I worked extensively with Caleb's mother to try to bring about a solution that Ms Hills would be satisfied with and that would enable him to remain here.
'Caleb was well-liked and was doing well and we are sorry he is no longer a part of our school community."


Recommended for you