Under-threat school saved suicide girl

Skerton High School.
Skerton High School.

A teenage girl who tried to kill herself because of bullying by pupils said she has been given a new lease of life thanks to a different school.

And the 13-year-old has pleaded with county council bosses not to close Skerton High, which, she says, has helped turn her life around.

The girl, who has remained anonymous, said teachers and pupils at Skerton High helped rebuild her shattered confidence and she is now thriving in the smaller school’s caring environment.

She turned to self-harming after suffering at the hands of bullies at another local secondary school.

“Due to the extent of the bullying I tried to take my own life,” she said. “I started self-harming and when I finally told my mum it was that bad that I had to start counselling and move to another school.

“When I started (at Skerton) I was very nervous and I kept very quiet. I have met some great friends and my teachers have built up some of the confidence I had lost.

“I have really changed since I have been here. I’m happy to go to school every morning and work very hard. Please don’t close my school.”

The teen’s mum said her daughter has never been happier since changing schools, and she fears for what might happen if the decision is made to close Skerton. Having to watch your child struggle so much when these should be the best years of their life is heartbreaking,” the girl’s mum said. “As a parent, you feel utterly powerless and guilty that you haven’t done more or that you could have done something differently. One regret is that we didn’t find Skerton Community High School sooner. But the good thing is that we did find it eventually and she has never been happier. The uncertainty of this situation is horrendous for everybody concerned but understandably my main concern is for my daughter. I am worried that if she is forced to leave Skerton then the problems will start again and I don’t think that the council has thought about the effect that this will have on any of the children at the school.

“They think that saving money is more important than our children’s welfare.

“Let’s hope that they make the right decision and that (county council cabinet member for schools) Matthew Tomlinson doesn’t end up with blood on his hands!”