Parents of bullying victims at Northampton school speak out over 'vicious, shocking and relentless' abuse

A video of the bullies attacking two teenage girls in the school's canteen has surfaced online and shared on multiple social media platforms

By Logan MacLeod
Monday, 31st January 2022, 5:17 pm

Two parents of children being 'viciously' bullied at a Northampton school have spoken out and called for tougher punishments.

The parents, who wish to remain anonymous, say they feel they have been let down by Northampton International Academy (NIA) in Barrack Road, Northampton.

This comes after a video surfaced online which shows three female students attack two female students in the school's canteen on Monday, January 24.

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Northampton International Academy in Barrack Road

The video has since been shared on Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook in what has been described by the parents as 'shocking and relentless' abuse.

Northamptonshire Police was called and is now investigating.

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "We are working with the school who reported this to us in order to investigate it."

When asked about the online video, the spokeswoman said: "This will form part of the investigation and we would urge people not to share or reshare these links as they could have an impact on the case."

An NIA spokeswoman said: “This incident absolutely does not represent the safe and supportive environment we see every day within the school community at NIA.

"A full investigation has been carried out by the school and appropriate action is being taken.

"Unfortunately, unauthorised social media accounts created by students is a national problem and, like other schools, we take action to report and remove offending accounts as quickly as possible, as well as continue to educate pupils around safe and appropriate internet use.

"We would welcome any measures introduced by social media companies to help address the issue of harmful content on their platforms.”

Parents' concerns

The victims' parents disagree that 'appropriate action' is being taken and have voiced their concerns.

One mother said: "The punishment does not fit the crime.

"I feel let down by the school. It's like my daughter is being shunted away instead of the bullies.

"The video is on Tik Tok, Facebook and Instagram. It's constant ridicule. It just does not stop. It's vicious. We have tried to get it taken down but the video apparently does not break any guidelines.

"As far as I'm aware, the school has a zero tolerance policy with bullying, but there is tolerance. It should be a three-strike and you're out system.

"I want to raise awareness, not just for this school, it's got to be happening all over. It doesn't seem to be a priority for NIA. They just want to get the right ticks in the boxes for Ofsted."

The other victim's parent said she believes students are being 'failed' by the school.

"I'm not happy with how it’s been handled and believe children at NIA are being failed," she said.

"My daughter was attacked by three girls. The staff took no control of the situation. There have been at least five fights at that school last week.

"The attack on my daughter was planned. The bullies asked my daughter if she could set her friend up, my daughter said no, so they beat her up.

"The online bullying they received made me feel sick. They set up an Instagram account glorifying the fights happening in NIA and to ridicule my daughter and her friend. It’s shocking and relentless.

"I'm not happy with the way the school is handling the situation. The punishment for the bullies is not adequate. I don't feel like they are keeping our children safe.

"The school offered my daughter to have a different lunchtime and to finish earlier to avoid the bullies. Why should my child be the one to hide away?"