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December 27, 2002

Bullied Because She Is Deaf

From: Western Daily Press, UK - 27 Dec 2002

A girl of seven is being tormented by bullies at her West school because she is deaf.

Chloe Meadows has endured weeks of misery. One of her hearing aids was even kicked around the playground.

She was so upset by the bullying at her Gloucestershire school that she fled the classroom before Christmas and ran home.

Now, her parents have demanded the school acts in the New Year to end her torment and called on the bullies to leave Chloe alone.

The young pupil has to wear two hearing aids because she has glue ear, a condition where fluid builds up behind the eardrum.

Her mother Caroline says that has made her the victim of cruel bullies who are too stupid to know any better.

The last term has been very difficult for Mrs Meadows and her daughter.

At one stage, Chloe's tormentors used her hearing aid as a football and kicked it into bushes near the playground.

Mrs Meadows said during the last week of term Chloe was so upset at being taunted and ridiculed about her hearing she ran out of the school.

A meeting is to be held at Finlay Community School in a bid to sort out the problem.

Mrs Meadows, who also has twin girls in the reception class, said: "It's boys and girls who are doing this and it's pathetic and cruel.

"I know kids can be cruel about things like glasses and hearing aids but I want her to go to a mainstream school because I want the best for her. But it seems the boys and girls are pulling her hair and pushing her about. She's so upset I may have to move her."

Mrs Meadows, who has nine children, said she has been to the school three times over concerns that Chloe was being picked on.

Headteacher Barbara Harborne said the school had taken previous incidents very seriously and a child had been disciplined.

But she said she was surprised about the latest allegations because Chloe and her parents had not complained of bullying recently.

She said: "We have a worry box where children can write to me and let me know if they are being bullied."

A county council spokesman said the headteacher had offered to meet the parents in the new year and they had been advised to do so.

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