- Suzanne O’Neill, 25, says her son is victimised because of her retro look
- Cruel bullies allegedly punched and bit David Belcher
- Schoolboy was so frightened of going to school he stopped eating’
- Part-time Katy Perry tribute act says parents have also been abusive
- David has been driven out of school, 25-year-old claims
A model mother claims her six year-old son has been driven out of primary school by bullies – because she dresses like pin-up pop star Katy Perry. David Belcher has been kept away from classes for six months amid claims other pupils bit and punched him, trapped his fingers and even urinated on his jumper. His mother Suzanne O’Neill, 25, said he was so frightened about going to school he stopped eating. She claims her son is being picked on as ‘different’ because she is a professional model who poses for sexy retro photos.
But she says when she complained to St Paul’s Infant School in Maidstone, Kent she was told ‘boys will be boys’. Suzanne, who is also a part-time Katy Perry tribute act, says she has also been the victim of taunts about her style from other mums at the school gates. She said she asked police for help after another mother threatened her outside the school. A spiteful Facebook page was also set up using a photo of Suzanne in the profile.
And when things got so bad she had to have a police escort for the school run she decided to remove David from the school.
Kent County Council have since offered the youngster a place at another primary school. But Suzanne, who has lodged an official complaint with the Department of Education, said she does not want him to make the 40-minute walk from their home. She said: ‘The bullying was awful. We had to have a police escort to walk home as I was scared of what might happen. ‘The kids punched him, bit him, trapped his fingers in tables and one even urinated on his school jumper.
‘When I went and complained about it at the school I was just told “boys will be boys”. ‘It was so horrible to see my little six-year-old so unhappy. He was starving himself and I was scared what would happen to his health. ‘It was not an easy decision to pull David out of school, but I had no choice.’ Suzanne, of Maidstone, Kent, added: ‘The kids would tell David his mother is a scrubber. I’m an adult so I can deal with nasty comments, but David is only six.
‘The other mothers were behaving in such a childish way. The mothers were behaving like children and one threatened to “smash my face in”. ‘I admit I’m a bit quirky. But it’s not like I go to the school in a s***** dress. ‘My look is very retro and very tastefully done. It’s not like I go topless.’ She said other parents have contributed to David’s bullying. ‘The other mums are aware that I do the Katy Perry stuff and they are aware that I have done the pin up stuff as well,’ she said.
‘They message me on Facebook and say “you think you’re gorgeous because you look like Katy Perry”. ‘It’s awful and since they started saying things like that David’s bullying has got a lot worse. ‘One time he went over to play with some children and they told him they weren’t allowed to speak to him. ‘The children have said “we know when your mum is coming because she wears bright red lipstick”. ‘It is odd because one minute their parents were asking me to do their make-up and the next they were sending me horrible messages online.
‘I haven’t been able to get my Katy Perry act up and running because I have had to take him out of school.’ Suzanne, who is engaged to shop assistant Paul Baker, 31, added: ‘David misses playing and socialising with other children. I do not want him to become isolated. ‘Since he has been off school he has been depressed and crying. ‘I’ve been told when he eventually does get a space, he will have to go back a year because of the time he’s had off.’
Kent County Council, who also commented on behalf of the school, defended its efforts to find David a suitable place and said two alternative schools had been offered to him. Kevin Shovelton, director of education and planning, said: ‘As soon as we became aware of David’s situation we worked hard to secure a place for him. ‘Miss O’Neill did apply for alternative schools at the beginning of the year, however the county council was unable to offer any of her preferred schools. He added: ‘On 24 May a further place was offered to David at South Borough Primary School.
‘Both schools offered to David are regarded as a reasonable walking distance for a child, according to government guidelines. ‘Currently Ms O’Neill has elected to educate David at home.The county council has contacted Ms O’Neill to offer support in educating David at home. A home visit was offered on 20 March 2013. ‘On primary offer day this year there were almost 180 spare school places across Maidstone, which equates to a healthy 10 per cent spare capacity for the district.
‘Ms O’Neill may have had difficulty securing places in popular oversubscribed schools mid way through the school year. However that does not equate to there being a wider shortage of school places in Maidstone.’ Kent Police confirmed they had been called to minor incidents at the school, but nothing officers felt warranted danger to the child concerned. Officers said they might escort members of the public on an informal basis, but these occasions were rare.