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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 15:55 GMT
Parents petition for action on bullying
Marion Flynn
Marion Flynn: "Bullying here is out of control"
By BBC News Online's community affairs reporter, Cindi John

A parent at the school attended by the 10-year-old boy fatally stabbed in south London is organising a petition complaining about the level of bullying there.

We the parents think the headmaster of Oliver Goldsmith's should do more about bullying in the school and in the playground

Parent's petition
Damilola Taylor bled to death after being found with a severe leg wound on his way home from a computer club at the Oliver Goldsmith Primary School in Peckham.

The head teacher, Mark Parsons, has said he is proud of his school's anti-bullying policy and is satisfied the death was not connected with the school.

But parent Marion Flynn says the bullying is "out of control".

She has four children at the school and said she had been to see the head several times about the problem.

She was outside the school collecting signatures for a petition calling on Mr Parsons to do more to tackle bullying.

'One death is too many'

Her petition says: "We the parents think the headmaster of Oliver Goldsmith's should do more about bullying in the school and in the playground.

"We now think he should take measures to stop verbal and physical bullying as one child's death is one too many."

Ms Flynn told BBC News Online: "I know there is bullying in this school because my kids have been bullied and the headmaster does not do enough about bullying.

"There is a bully problem in the school and it's out of control."

Her son had played football with Damilola, she said. She had met him a few times and said he was "a nice kid".

She knew he was being bullied.

"My son told me kids were calling him names like 'gay boy' and saying things about his mother," she said.

Unaccompanied youngsters

She is worried that other mothers are still allowing their children to go to and from school unaccompanied.

"I'm one of the mums that brings my kids to school and take them home but other mums don't.

"If it was a 17-18 year old you get used to it, with the drugs and the fighting and the shooting, but a boy like that, to leave him to die like that, he must have been in so much pain."

Damilola's mother, Gloria, said her concerns over name calling were not taken seriously by staff at Oliver Goldsmith's.

His cousin, Jordan Fayemi, 29, said: "Damilola had complained about being bullied after school hours.

"We do not know if he was stabbed by someone from the school or by someone outside the school who knew somebody in the school."

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See also:

29 Nov 00 | Education
Helping schools tackle bullying
17 Feb 00 | Education
Bullying: Schools' duty to act
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