Larisa Brown, Daily Mail (London)
A boy of nine who was found hanged is believed to have killed himself after he was ‘bullied for being white’ by an Asian gang at school.
Aaron Dugmore – thought to be one of the youngest children in the UK to commit suicide – was discovered in his bedroom after being tormented for months, his parents said.
They said Aaron was threatened with a plastic knife by one Asian pupil, who warned him: ‘Next time it will be a real one.’
He was also allegedly told by another pupil that ‘all the white people should be dead’ and he was forced to hide from the bullies in the playground at lunchtime.
Aaron’s mother, Kelly-Marie Dugmore, 30, and stepfather Paul Jones, 43, said that despite complaints to the school, nothing was done to stop the bullying.
Aaron had recently started in Year Five at Erdington Hall Primary School in Birmingham, a school where 75 per cent of pupils come from ethnic minority backgrounds.
According to staff at the school he had already ‘settled in quickly’ with his classmates after he joined the school last September when his family moved nearby.
The school, which caters for 450 pupils aged three to 11, received an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted inspectors last year.
Aaron was discovered by Miss Dugmore hanged in his bedroom at the family home in the Erdington district of Birmingham at about 6pm on February 11.
He was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where doctors desperately attempted to revive him but he died the following day from a suspected cardiac arrest.
His mother said she was convinced the taunts led to her son killing himself.
‘Aaron got on with all the children at his last school, and for him to have been bullied because of the colour of his skin makes me feel sick to my stomach,’ she said.
Mr Jones said that from Aaron’s first day of joining the school he had noticed a change in him.
‘He became argumentative with his brothers and sisters, which wasn’t like him at all,’ he added.
‘Eventually he told us that he was being bullied by a group of Asian children at school and had to hide from them in the playground at lunchtime.’
His mother claimed she went to see the head teacher of the school several times only to be told: ‘You didn’t have to come to this school, you chose to come here.’
A neighbour of the boy’s grandmother earlier told how ‘he had been targeted by a gang of older bullies at the school’.
She said: ‘They made fun of him because he was the new kid but no one really thought it was any more than playground stuff.’
An inquest was opened at Birmingham Coroner’s Court last week but was adjourned to a date to be fixed.
Detective Inspector David Wallbank, of West Midlands Police, confirmed that the force was investigating allegations that Aaron was being bullied in the run-up to his death.