Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Bullied teen driven out of school
5:00pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
A TEENAGER has been left too scared to go to school - after being bullied for having a disability.
Wilson Fernandes,14, had a metal plate inserted in his head because it never fused together properly when he was a baby.
He was left in a coma for three months following surgery to correct the problems with his skull. Afterwards he was rendered blind in his left eye, has a large bald patch, and a metal plate in his head.
But on top of this Wilson has had to endure years of bullying because he was different from other teenagers.
Most recently, a group of youngsters got hold of his phone number and began sending threats to stab him. Wilson, who lives on the Woodgrange Estate, Southend, said: “When I go to school sometimes I don’t feel safe in case they catch me and end up beating me up.”
At its worst he was surrounded by a group of teenagers in a Southend park who knocked him to the ground and beat him up.
He was taken to Southend Hospital with a badly bruised and swollen face, following the incident in August 2011.
The family received a letter to say the ringleader was having sessions with the Youth Offending Service but have heard nothing since.
His sister Sue, 17, said: “The doctor said it was lucky it wasn’t more serious, because if he banged his head he could die.”
He has also had so much abuse on Facebook that he had to change his account.
His mother Andrea Fernandes, 40, said: “I’m scared when he goes to school that they will call and say he’s dead. The school tell me they can’t do anything about it.”
His mother said she had been trying to transfer him from Futures College to another school but is facing a waiting list.
But since last Wednesday she has felt there is no option but to keep him at home.
She hopes that in talking to the Echo youngsters may come to understand Wilson’s condition and leave him alone.
Headteacher Stephen Capper said he could not comment on specific cases.
However, he added: “We’ve got a clear anti-bullying policy which we’ve put an enormous amount of resources into.
“I think it’s an issue all schools and society has to face.”
An Essex Police spokeswoman said they were investigating the most recent offence as a case of harrassment.