Pol­ish girl, 16, found hanged at school had been ‘racially bul­lied’

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Daily Tele­graph Reporter

A TEENAGE girl found hanged in lava­to­ries at her school had suf­fered “racist” bul­ly­ing about be­ing Pol­ish, an in­quest has heard.

Dag­mara Przy­bysz, 16, an as­pir­ing pho­tog­ra­pher, died at Pool Acad­emy in Corn­wall on May 17 2016. Yes­ter­day the in­quest into her death heard she had been hav­ing trou­ble with some girls at her school and had told her par­ents and her boyfriend that she had over­heard class­mates mak­ing racist com­ments.

In a state­ment, Dag­mara’s mother, Ewelina, said her daugh­ter got on bet­ter with boys, and most of her friends, in­clud­ing her boyfriend, went to an­other school. She said: “Dag­mara of­ten talked to me about her prob­lems and she was hurt if some­one said some­thing un­pleas­ant to her.”

Mrs Przy­bysz said she un­der­stood her daugh­ter had been hav­ing a prob­lem with one girl who had “called Dag­mara names”. “I don’t know ex­actly what was said,” she added.

“This in­ci­dent oc­curred only a few days be­fore Dag­mara passed away … I don’t know whether these in­ci­dents were racist in na­ture; how­ever, I can say that on sev­eral oc­ca­sions she over­heard com­ments such as ‘stupid Pole’.”

An­swer­ing ques­tions from Dale Collins, who was rep­re­sent­ing Pool Acad­emy, Mr and Mrs Przy­bysz – who were not rep­re­sented at the hear­ing – said pupils had made racist com­ments to Dag­mara “a few times” in the last few months. Mrs Przy­bysz added: “We think the big­gest prob­lem for Dag­mara was not racism, but bul­ly­ing.”

Dag­mara’s boyfriend, Lewis Simp­son, said Dag­mara told him that other pupils made racist com­ments to her such as “go back to your own coun­try” and he said: “I think it got to her a lit­tle bit.” Corn­wall Coro­ner’s Court heard Dag­mara was taken to hospi­tal by her un­cle, To­masz Dobek, the day be­fore she died af­ter in­jur­ing her­self by punch­ing a wall dur­ing a PE les­son when she be­came an­gry be­cause she said some girls were laugh­ing at her.

Mr Dobek said that dur­ing the drive to hospi­tal they saw two girls in Pool Acad­emy uni­forms and she said to him: “Can you run them over?”, but that he did not take the com­ment se­ri­ously.

Mr Dobek said Dag­mara phoned him the next morn­ing around 6.20am while he was at a fish fac­tory where he and both of her par­ents worked nights, cry­ing and say­ing she had taken some tablets. Dag­mara’s father, Je­drzej, said: “She said she had prob­lems at school which I would not un­der­stand.” He added it did not look like she had taken tablets and they sent her to school.

“My wife and I kept won­der­ing whether we should have kept Dag­mara home that day, but there was no phys­i­cal sign that she had taken any tablets, oth­er­wise we would have taken her to hospi­tal,” he said.

The fam­ily lived in Re­druth and Dag­mara and her younger sis­ter went to Pen­noweth Pri­mary School where they “very quickly learned English” but were the “first Pol­ish chil­dren to at­tend the school”, the in­quest heard.

Su­san Kent, pastoral sup­port worker at Pool Acad­emy, said: “To the best of my knowl­edge, Dag­mara never men­tioned any prob­lems with racism to me or any other per­son at school.”

Other teach­ers de­scribed her as be­ing friendly, happy, sporty and a “lovely girl”, but said she was wor­ried about ex­ams and had con­cerns she may have dys­lexia.

The in­quest in Truro con­tin­ues.

The in­quest heard that Dag­mara had been told to ‘go back to your own coun­try’ by pupils at her school in Corn­wall

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