HANGED HIMSELF AFTER YEARS OF BULLYING
tormented choirboy hanged himself after suffering for years
at the hands of school bullies, an inquest was told.
Darren Steele was burnt with cigarettes, battered with school
text books and branded a homosexual during five years of abuse
at two schools.
The talented 15 year old was found hanged in his bedroom next
to a note naming those he blamed for his death.
'The real tragedy,' said his headmaster, 'was that his parents
the school and his grand parents were not aware of his suffering.
It is very difficult to do anything about bullying without
knowing it is going on'.
inquest was told that the slightly built Darren was unable
to stick up for himself when confronted by bullies because
of his physique.
of his friends said the bubbly youngster was systematically
tormented both physically and mentally at school.
One 16 year old friend said that a week before his death in
March, 1998, Darren had told her that he could stand the pain
of his bullying no longer. She said that he was frequently
called "gayboy" and "poof" because he enjoyed cookery and
one English lesson he was whacked in the face with a textbook
before being verbally abused.
The inquest heard how Darren, who had intended to go to catering
school after taking his GCSE's, was bullied ever since leaving
primary school. On one occasion, as he walked past a church,
a gang of classmates burnt his head, back and school bag with
cigarettes. On another occasion he was made to sit on the
floor while boys mocked him.
After the boy's death at his home in Horninglow, police launched
11 pupils were arrested on suspicion of harassment and countless
others were questioned, but the Crown prosecution has decided
not to take further action.
is taken from the local paper 5/11/98
Antilocution verbal abuse
Darren for years at school both primary and secondary is called
names , gay boy, bum boy, batty boy, fudge pusher, faggot
Use as many you feel appropriate and 'comfortable' with
Darren is ignored
People don't sit next to him
Don't pass the ball to him etc.
People use what power they have to make his life hell
Don't tell him the homework
Won't lend pencils, books etc.
His books are covered with graffiti
When he goes into the toilet he sees all sorts of stuff Darren
is a poof etc.
On way home from school outside church he is burnt with cigarettes
Hit in class etc
That is what he does