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