Bullies shamed by friends of schoolboy found hanged himself

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The Independent Online

A 12-year-old boy found hanging at his family home was driven to kill himself by school bullies, his friends have claimed.

A 12-year-old boy found hanging at his family home was driven to kill himself by school bullies, his friends have claimed.

They have set up an internet website in memory of Nathan Jones, from Essex, which condemns the pupils they claim are responsible for his death. The centrepiece of the site is a poem aimed at the bullies entitled "Because of You", listing the moments in life that Nathan would never experience.

One of his classmates says: "I hope the bullies who pushed him to this are happy. How can they live with themselves?"

Other tributes on the site read: "I don't know why they bullied him. He was a lovely boy"; and "Nathan was driven into where he is now by bullies. I hope he's happier in heaven."

Nathan, a pupil at King's Wood school in Romford, was found hanging at his family home last week. He was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later. His family have thanked his friends for setting up the tribute to him but are too upset to comment about the bullying claims.

Jeff Stafford, a governor at King's Wood school, said: "Many rumours are being spread at the moment but we will not know the circumstances in which Nathan died until the inquest is completed.

"Bullying does not occur any more or less in King's Wood than any other school. It is a shock.

"He was on the school council, a drama group member and an active fund-raiser. This is what makes his death so mystifying."

Geoff Starns, council cabinet member for children's services at the London Borough of Havering, said: "The death of Nathan is tragic. The full facts are still being ascertained and the police have not yet concluded their inquiries. Our thoughts are with the family and those who were close to Nathan at this sad time."

The charity ChildLine said its latest figures showed the number of desperate children calling its hotline about bullying had reached record proportions. Last year more than 31,000 victims turned to the free helpline - up from 21,000 the year before. More than 25 per cent of those who called had turned to their teachers first but felt that their fears were not being taken seriously. They also said that bullying no longer stopped at the school gates, with many being hounded in their homes through text messages.

Between 16 and 20 children under the age of 16 are thought to commit suicide every year because of bullying.

The Government has launched a crackdown on bullying, setting up nine regional education conferences at which teachers can share experiences and adopt the best anti-bullying strategies. Schools have been told to devise their own strategies, and to make sure all pupils are aware of them.

'Because of you' - a poetic tribute

"Because of you - he never done his GCSEs to get the results he wanted.
Because of you - he never got a first job.
Because of you - he never got to say 'I do'.
Because of you - he never got to have a family of his own.
Because of you - he never got to own his own house.
Because of you - he never got to share the wonderful moments that could have been.
Because of you - you destroyed him, his family and his friends' lives.
Because of you - you pushed him too far.
Because of you - you took away his smile.
Because of you - you caused him unnecessary pain.
Because of you - our lives will never be the same.
Because of you - our tears will never fade.
Because of you - you made a young boy take his own life, just for fun.
Because of you - he never got to live his dreams.
Selfish people did this to Nathan and now no one's life will ever be the same.
Because of you."