A mother has told how her 10-year-old daughter turned to self- harming after bullies persistently dubbed her “spaghetti hair”.
Rochelle Moorhouse said little Tulay gouges her own arms to such an extent that she has been to A&E three times in the past three weeks.
“She told even me she would rather be dead than have ‘spaghetti’ hair,” she said.
Last week Rochelle removed Tulay and her identical twin sister Cerina from Loughton School and is trying to find another placement.
Head teacher Andy George is unhappy with the outcome and says the school “bent over backwards” to help Tulay, giving her hours of support every week to boost her self-esteem.
But Rochelle alleges: “The school did not do enough to stop the bullying.
“The twins are mixed race and they have lovely curly, affro-style hair. Tulay begged me to get it straightened. I tried blow drying it straight but it just went curly again.”
Rochelle said she asked the school to put Tulay in a different class to the bullies. She wanted her moved in with twin Cerina, who was in a different class.
“The bullying started last September but Tulay was only moved into Cerina’s class in the last week. It was too late – the damage was done, said Rochelle, who lives on Crownhill.
Mr George said: “When this child complained of being bullied and unkind comments made about her hair, we dealt with the situation immediately, moving the culprit and explaining to her, in no uncertain terms, how wrong and hurtful this kind of behaviour is.
“We continued to monitor the situation closely, and when the child hurt herself, we called the paramedics as we could not reach her mum, and the child was taken to hospital.
“After this we spoke with mum and we offered to move the children into the same class as her sister, as they are obviously close.
“Both girls were continually checked, and extra staff were moved into the class to monitor their wellbeing. At all times, the relevant authorities were kept abreast of the situation on a daily basis.
“Sadly last Thursday the girl scratched herself again and again was taken to hospital. The staff who dealt with the two girls were extremely kind and sympathetic.”
Both Tulay and Cerina had been at the school since Year 3. Rochelle is currently taking unpaid leave from work to look after them at home while she looks for another school with vacancies.