Luton parents remove son from Icknield High School after ‘severe bullying not dealt with’

Luton parents have removed their son from Icknield High School after he received a knife threat on social media, and claim staff did not do enough to tackle “severe bullying”.

The mother and father removed their son from the Riddy Lane school in January, because they no longer believed he was safe there, and he is currently still at home.

The knife image that was sent to their son on social media by the bullies.

The knife image that was sent to their son on social media by the bullies.

The student had already been removed for several months in 2018, as his parents say he had been the victim of endless bullying and claim that the staff had “failed him”.

The parents alleged: “Our son has been cut, beaten, punched, assaulted, had his possessions damaged, and now he has been threatened with a knife [an image of a knife sent to him by the bullies on social media]. I feared for my son’s safety and I withdrew him as soon as possible.

“Icknield High School has been awful in dealing with this. They have not dealt with incidents accordingly. They have a poor bullying response.”

The parents claim that in September 2017, their son was pushed down the stairs twice in one day, but that they were told by the school that it was “just boys messing around”.

A photo of their son's injured knee after he was pushed into a fence.

A photo of their son's injured knee after he was pushed into a fence.

They claim that the bullying got worse from then on, and that their son was subject to physical abuse and name calling.

They also told the Luton News that during the same school year, bullies threw their son into a metal fence which cut his knee open. They claim that the school’s medical room “didn’t do anything”, although the wound later needed butterfly stitches.

The parents removed their son during the first week of February 2018 until the final weeks of June/July 2018, because they say that the bullying had made his life a misery.

The mother claimed: “No-one from the school called to see if he was OK during this period.

The parents wish to make others aware about bullying on social media sites and how frightening it can be for the recipient.

The parents wish to make others aware about bullying on social media sites and how frightening it can be for the recipient.

“I rang up the school at Easter. The school told me that parents have a “duty of care” to make sure their child attends school. However, I did not feel he was safe there.

“The bullies never seemed to get punished - if at all - yet my son was a good, polite student who would get on with his work.

“We want people to know, because other [bullied] students could be in the same position.”

Their son went back to school for a few weeks in June/July 2018 before the summer holidays began.

One of the threats sent by the bullies along with the knife image.

One of the threats sent by the bullies along with the knife image.

A meeting was held at the school with his parents to establish support systems for him during the next year, including teachers he could speak to for help.

However, despite this, the parents claim that the bullying didn’t stop and that the bullies didn’t seem to be punished.

The “final straw” was when the bullies sent their son a picture of a knife with verbal threats on Instagram during the evening of Friday, January 11.

Although this incident happened outside of the school, the parents removed their son from Icknield High on Monday, January 14.

He has not been back since.

John Noble, Headteacher, Icknield High School, said: “The safety of all our pupils is paramount therefore we take any incidents of bullying very seriously and have anti bullying and behaviour policies in place to ensure pupils are safeguarded. We have and continue to do everything we can to support the parents and the pupil with a view to the student returning back to education as soon as possible.”

A Luton Borough Council spokesman, said: “Icknield High School is an Academy and, as such, oversight falls to the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Education, Skills and Funding Agency, rather than the Council.

“A Council representative has recently attended a meeting with the headteacher of Icknield High School and the pupil’s parents and plans are underway to support his return to full time education.”