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Cumbrian girl suspended from school says she was only defending herself

A father has hit out after his daughter was suspended from school just days after defending herself in an attack after school hours.

Bethanie Cross photo
Bethanie Cross with her father Tony

Bethanie Cross, 14, from Harriston in Aspatria, was at Dream Scheme youth club in the town on Friday night but on leaving with a friend at around 8pm they were followed by a gang of eight girls.

Bethanie said that she was slapped by one of the girls so she hit her attacker back.

She added: “She grabbed my hair and tried to pull me down but I landed on top of her.”

She said that they managed to escape to her friend’s house but they were followed by the gang who started throwing stones at the property before running off.

Bethanie said that at least one of her attackers had also been suspended from school.

She said that she often got teased and picked on by other youngsters because of her weight and added: “I just want to be left alone by them – it’s not right to be attacked because of how you look.”

Yesterday her father, Tony Cross, was contacted by staff from Beacon Hill Community School in Aspatria. He was told that his daughter was being suspended from school for a few days because of her involvement in the incident.

He said that, after the attack, he had decided to take no further action against the assailants because he did not want the situation to escalate. Now he felt the school had gone too far with the suspension.

“I worried at the time about it escalating,” he said. “But I didn’t expect her to be excluded. I couldn’t believe it when I received the phone call.

“We are talking about eight girls against two. At the moment I am thinking about going to the police and present them with the facts about the assault on my daughter.”

He added that he had been told that the school felt the move necessary because it could have placed the organisation in a “bad light”.

A spokesman for the school said they had no comment to make.

However a Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “The Department for Education’s regulations on school suspensions do allow for pupils to be suspended if they’re deemed to have brought the school into disrepute.”

Have your say

Tim: Fair enough, however when one person is victimised by several then...well, I can't really see how that can be excused by sharing blame to the victim also.
But you are right, we don't have all the facts as we were not there, but also, nor were you.

Posted by Mike on 9 April 2014 at 12:52

The school has taken the correct action, the persons involved have been suspended from school - pending an investigation - in the correct and proper manner so the guilty parties can then be brought to book. (Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in mass media in which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership)

Posted by G.Reale on 9 April 2014 at 10:58

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