Police working with Thanet school as sickening videos show students suffering assaults, intimidation and bullying

Assaults, fights and intimidation have been filmed and circulated on social media and messaging apps

Thanet Child Centred Policing Team is working with isle schools after a number of incidents including a sickening attack on a young student.

The Hartsdown girl was lured by other pupils to a woodland area and video taken by the children shows her being assaulted by another girl.

Video posted to a WhatsApp group and Tik Tok shows the youngster being made to get on her knees before her attacker kicks her in the face and repeatedly strikes her, even stamping and spitting on her.

A month after the brutal attack the youngster has healed physically but is suffering extreme anxiety about returning to Hartsdown.

The assault, which resulted in a 13-year-old girl being arrested, is one of a number of incidents which are being filmed and put on a TikTok account that is branded with the Hartsdown Academy logo.

Other videos seen by The Isle of Thanet News include footage of a boy kicked so hard he appears to pass out, fighting inside and outside of school and children being made to get on their knees and beg. Some of those involved are not in uniform and so which school they are from cannot be identified but other are in Hartsdown uniforms.

Parents are calling for action to be taken, with some pulling their children out of school due to them being targeted.

Margate mum-of-four Emma Clements removed her two daughters from Hartsdown after the eldest girl was targeted.

The 31-year-old said: “The problem started in Year 7 but last year, the week before they broke up for the Summer, was really bad.

“She was followed home by a group of girls and boys, verbally abused, pushed and shoved.

“I rang the school but nothing was done. A no contact order was made, meaning no contact between those kids and my daughter, but it was broken both in and out of school.

“She was being severely bullied and it affected her mental health so badly that she was cutting herself and she stopped eating.

“I had to limit her time on her phone and close apps like Tik Tok to stop her seeing the videos they made.”

Emma removed her daughter, now aged 14, from school and there has been intervention with a mental health early help programme but the youngster remains anxious and frightened.

Emma said: “The early help programme was just up the road but she wouldn’t walk there without an adult and if she saw any of the girls she would have a meltdown.”

The youngster, and her sister who was also targeted, are now in another isle school. Things are much better although the youngster still will not go out alone.

Emma says her daughters are not the only children who have suffered and she even had to contact police after seeing naked photos of a girl being posted into a snapchat by another youngster.

Emma and another parent have created a Stand Together – No More Bullying page on facebook as a safe place for other families to share their experiences.

She said: “It really is a big problem and these stories need to be listened to. There needs to be a bullying crackdown. You expect your children to be safe.”

Hartsdown headteacher Matt Tate

Hartsdown headteacher Matthew Tate said: “The school has been made aware of a video that contains footage of students from Thanet schools fighting and bullying other students.

“We, and other schools, have worked with the police to identify where possible the  students involved and the police are dealing with this.”

Child Centred Policing Team

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was contacted on 16 February 2024 and made aware of a reported assault on a schoolgirl near Hartsdown Road, Margate, which took place at around 4.15pm that day.

“Officers have since made contact with all of those involved and are ensuring they remain safe while enquiries into the incident continue.

“A 13-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of assault and was later bailed pending further enquiries. Another teenage girl attended a voluntary interview.

“Thanet’s Child Centred Policing Team, which is in regular contact with schools in the district, has been working with the school attended by those involved.”

Police were also called in after stones were thrown at a child in Hartsdown Park on February 1. Officers spoke to the victim and informed the “appropriate agencies.”

The child centred’ policing team was introduced last year following changes to Kent’s policing model and officers in that team are involved across primary, secondary and pupil referral units.

Anti-bullying policy

Hartsdown has an anti-bullying policy, approved in March 2023 and due for review this month, which says: “We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.  Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Hartsdown.  If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.”

The policy says the school employs methods such as restorative justice; mediation by adults : counselling or other interventions with both victims and perpetrators and assertiveness training.

Get Help

KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm)   0845 1 205 204 or https://www.kidscape.org.uk/

Parentline Plus  0808 800 2222

Youth Access  020 8772 9900

ChildLine offers advice and support, by phone and online, 24 hours a day. Call 0800 1111. They have a designated page for bullying issues that includes a new video about building up your confidence after bullying.

Young Minds: https://www.youngminds.org.uk/

Young Minds Parent Helpline 0808 802 5544

68 Comments

  1. It would make a nice change for something effective to result at last.
    This brutality has happened for years & the only difference is now it gets posted on-line. I’ve long thought the only solution is for the victims parents to deal with the bully’s parents one way or another.

  2. Is this what is called girl power? Some goirls have become worse than the boys and the teachers will not intervene on any meaningful way in fear of losing their jobs.
    Society reaps what it sows.

  3. When I was at school I made it my aim to bash the bullies up one way or another I made sure they did not bully any kids in my school. I’m no hero but I would never tolerate a bully.

    • I agree.
      It just provides an opportunity for people who know little or nothing about the subject to sound off.

      • But surely the exact opposite is true; we all know a fair bit about school-attendance, and therefore more qualified to comment on this than such matters as politics or airport re-opening?

        • I’m pretty sure that many readers and commenters have not been inside a school for several decades. This article is not about attendance but behaviour.

          • I’m pretty sure that many readers and commenters on Manston have never flown an aircraft.

            Poor argument.

          • Perhaps someone could explain the difference between making comments about an airport and making comments about the behaviour of teenagers. I really can’t be bothered.

          • That’s the point – there is NO difference. It’s all just OPINIONS, sometimes – but not always – based on personal experience.

            Now, you tell US why you feel it’s NOT OK to comment on this – when we’ve ALL been teenagers and (presumably) been to school – yet it IS OK to comment on other things?

          • It’s blindingly obvious the article is about behaviour. I used the word ‘attendance’ literally; meaning we went there, and are thus able to empathise with victims of bullying.

  4. It’s almost a non-article to pad out the dearth of truly sensational news that should happen in Thanet OMG, bullying in a sink estate school has occurred; what do we do?

    How about carry on as normal? Or, chastise ones feral offstring to within an inch of their lives, confiscate the free internet, instantly tendering them mute and disconnected from their digital investment in life.

    Life goes on for the blissfully ignorant, I guess!

    • Investment sort of suggests that it has some sort of benefit, being turned into people that can’t be diconnected from the “socials” for an hour , totally addicted to the mindless content that gives a very distorted representation of life is surely not a good thing

    • If you were viciously attacked i.e. kicked in the face, struck, stamped on and spat at, would you not expect the incident to be reported?

      • Teachers and support stakk in schools are on the receiving end if such behaviour somewhere in thanet every day. It’s often not reported or if it is is’nt done so formally, partly for not wanting to blight a childs reputation / record but also to keep a schools statistics looking good.
        Lots of instances of mysogeny against female staff bringing the attitudes they see at home into school, largely related to more recent arrivals into the country, religious norms being the root cause usually. But that raises so many issues that it’s just overlooked.

        • Perhaps “Grey Area” could give us some plausible proof that misogyny against staff has “religious norms as the root cause usually.

          • Knowing female staff in a local primary school, where its common for boys from households with strong religious beliefs ,to have no respect for said staff and become aggressive and abusive when their behaviour is challenged.
            It doesn’t get reported as it ventures into areas that get very complicated , but should female staff be abused solely based on their gender? All part of the behavioural and cultural variables that school staff have to deal with. But just another example of the things that really shouldn’t be something a school should need to deal with.

        • ” largely related to more recent arrivals into the country, religious norms being the root cause usually.”

          I work in a school outside the Thanet boundaries. I’ve done extensive safeguarding training. It isn’t religion. Its Andrew Tate and the online “manosphere” of Mens Rights Activists and Pick Up Artists that have tainted them.

          • Ms Pink, you’d be wrong in your assumption about music influence. Stick to opining on the genres you do actually have first hand experience of as a fan.

          • The staff member i know , talks of regular abuse towardsfemale staff members, revolving around standards of dress , use of makeup, worth as a woman if not married, that a woman can’t tell them what to do. This amongst primary school boys, all just laughed off ( which generally irritates the perpetrators) , does Mr.Tate share all these opinions and are they not also opinions held by some religions?

          • Bill Haley and His Comets’ songs never had misogynistic or violent lyrics. And they all dressed very smartly.

  5. Headteachers are sometimes part of the problem, by refusing to accept that bullying is happening.

    • They all know its happening, but society isn’t too bothered about dealing with the perpetrators, until it affects someone close to them.

    • Reply to “Grey Area” – a single school is not much of an argument. I was expecting a set of statistics involving various types of school in a range of areas with different kinds of demographic.

        • Aye, its too much of an expectation for someone to satisfy the burden of proof they’ve created for themselves, isn’t it? Instead, relying on “I have a friend who…”, because obviously, third hand anecdotal experience trumps documented empirical reality…

          • There is no empirical analysis as these would be inconvenient realities, poor behaviour is not restricted to certain groups , but some behaviours are more common in some than others. To avoid such realities being revealed , things are dumbed down across the board.
            The actions police take in cliftonville have similar solutions and it’s been going on for years. Where there’s a fear of stymagtising a sector of society a whole area of behaviour becomes hushed up no matter who may have been involved.
            The worst example i’ve knowledge of was the brotherl pimping young girls in Arthur Road in the early 2000’s, raided , the girls taken into care , those running it allowed to leave the country rather than be prosecuted.
            Any such incident should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law no matter who is involved. In years to come there’ll be massive legal cases and compensation claims against the state for failure to act against organised sexual abuse across the country, abuse to which a blind eye was turned because in some instances there were fears about accusations of discrimination being made. Society makes odd decisions.

  6. Who is funding mobile telephone bills ?
    Who supplies phones to children ?
    Who does not monitor phone usage?
    Who thinks their child is sweetness personified ?
    Or , who ignores and treats their child with total neglect ?
    Who as a supposed adult but has the same half a brain cell and behaves in the same way and thinks it’s all a laugh ?
    Not sure Teachers do – they just have to deal with this vile low life and apparently it’s all their fault in or out of school time

    • Yep, primary schools have “behaviour mentors” , a third of the kids have concern sheets, flo’s ( family liason officers) , who go out to the homes of kids who haven’t turned up to find no one is out of bed at 10am, the same flo’s help make sure families claim all the benefits they can, only way school can get the kids to attend is fine the parents if they don’t.
      Kids that have next to no social skills, language skills very limited, but know how to use a smart phone , households where kids share a toothbrush. Significant numbers whose development is seriously defficient ( crucial early years brain development and basic bonding and interaction , non existent)
      Teachers aren’t meant to be dealing with such problems , but society can’t afford to deal with the scale of the issue and it’s suggested that in many cases the damage is permanent to some degree.
      All a terrible mess and likely to go exponential whenthe damaged kids have kids of their own but absolutely no idea how to bring them up.
      It doesn’t need much of a percentage to be saffected, to drag a whole generation down. How do you deal with those that have no notion of compassion, empathy, caring or boundaries , when it’s genuinely not their fault but instead the result of totally dysfunctional early years development and too much time staring at screens.

      • Interesting you ask how we deal with those who have no empathy. Given your preceding paragraphs where you show minimal, if any at all.

        • Any empathy i have is reserved solely for those on the receiving end of the behaviours talked of in the article. In my school years, i was on the receiving end and its not nice, fortunately. ( like many people) eventually you snap and find you have previously unknown strengths that leave the perpetrator nursing few bruises ( you walk away with your own) , in those days no one stabbed anyone and schools let such things play out or you were sent to the sports master where you were put in the gym, the pair of you with 16oz gloves that were like pillows , nothing usually happened , the bully with no crowd to play to just made a lame excuse and everyome walked off shamed faced.
          My school had a particularly messy event where a lad that had been mercilessly bullied ran one of ht ebullies head through a georgian wired pane of glass.
          The head called the whole school to an assembly and just said that this is what you can expect if you go too far, and that the matter was closed. The lad that had stood his ground gained a lot of respect , the other lad came back for a while but left at the end of the next term.
          Looking back things seemed much simpler in the late 70’s.
          You don’t need empathy to identify a problem, the victims take precedence over the perpetrators, anything thats left can be used to try and change the ways of the miscreant.
          But as I don’t work in such an arena , it matters not a jot , i’m just expressing an opinion that has zero effect on anything in this situation.

  7. If what you describe is widespread, then incidents such as those described in the piece would be widespread. Do such things happen in other secondary schools?
    For a while, in a professional capacity, I worked at Hartsdown Acadamy. My impression was that there were underlying tensions in the school; it did not have a “happy” vibe at all.
    That was some years ago. Things might have changed

    • Unfortunately I do think such things happen in other secondary schools. I’ve worked in a fair few in different parts of the country and some of the incidents I’ve seen or heard about would, I believe, be considered ‘crimes against the person’ in other contexts but with large numbers of kids and the ever-present need for reputation management schools all too often brush even serious incidents under the carpet.
      Managing behaviour is very labour-intensive. Could be done with available staff but they do have to spend quite a lot of time doing a spot of teaching. But yep, I don’t think the will is there … I think all heads should be shouting ‘give us the resources to protect these kids’, that message should be spoken with one voice or it sends a signal that x school is ‘failing’ whereas it’s our society that’s failing.

    • All depends on the definition of widespread, Bullying has always happened, but in an era of social media , which both gives free and easy access to porn and violence along with the ease at which videos of bullying can be shared ( and so gain the oxygen of publicity).
      1 problem kid in a hundred is probably not an issue on their own , but if they get together with others of a similar ilk it can get out of control very soon, raise those numbers to 2,3,4 % and it’s not hard for things to get out of control.
      Then there’s the issues surround sexting and use of any such images that may have been sent. Porn and the numbers of teenage girls that are needing surgical intervention for damage resulting from anal sex. Again the numbers aren’t huge but the damge both physical and physiological to those involved shouldn’t be understated.
      Talk to people involved in child protection , child care and fostering , the demand is ever increasing and the pressures on the services involved immense, the fear of a career ending error taking a toll on those working in the sector.
      Ask those that work in the sector what the basic problem is and the overwhelming response is appalling standards of parenting and the attitiude of too many that it’s the states job to bring up their kids. During the lockdowns lots of childrens speech therapy ( another area where there are marked rises in children with issues, largely because of parents not engaging with their kids and relying on smart phones, tablets and the internet to keep their kids occupied, from a very early age) went to an online service , it became quite common for children to not be available for the sessions, a common excuse from parents “ my social worker did’nt remind me”.
      Throw workless households, drink, tobacco , drugs , poor diet ( there are some households that never cook, and wverything comes out of a packet) , another early indicator of issues in a household is the state of a kids teeth, but of course this is laid at the door of the state and lack of dentistry. But early intervention in the days of old by the in school dental checkups ( and the nit nurse) have been consigned to the dustbin of history , initially by those who had concerns over permissions, cultural issues, stigmatisation etc etc, but of course now we wouldn’t have the staff or funding to bring the services back. Throw in problems with immunisation take up amongst some communities ( and to a lesser extent general population ) and again we leave ourselves open to the risk of additional needless issues.
      Basically lots of first world problems.

  8. The UK is in the throes of “Death by a 1000 Cuts”.

    Were perhaps a handful of years away from civil unrest; ushering in a new era of lawless urban violence, empty supermarkets, no medics and financial meltdown.

    All our multi-state MPs will simply exile themselves to greener pastures, leaving the population to rot – many dying in their homes unable to cope with a new, violent regime.

    You all wanted a beaurocratic heavy, left leaning and multicultural puppet society.

    That’s what you’ll get.

    • What we’ve got is a consequence of more than a dozen years of increasingly right leaning government.
      And it’s a wild stretch of the imagination to extrapolate the horrible goings on in a Thanet school with the evolution of the UK.

      • Please , could you explain how ( in your opinion) an increasingly right leaning government is responsible for kids abusing their peers at school? Then by extension tell us how a left leaning government Will miraculously solve the problem.

        • The Conservatives killing of Sure Start provision took away the safety net of early years intervention that made a real difference to low income families.
          Austerity lies at the root of many of society’s ills. Families where parents are continuously anxious about making ends meet or who simply aren’t present as they juggle numerous low income jobs on zero hours contracts simply don’t have the bandwidth to parent effectively.
          Regardless of our brilliant teachers’ best efforts, run-down schools with no investment send a clear message from our government that they just don’t matter.
          Add to that the insidious presence of social media (not the govt’s fault) – which drive behaviours that are always one step ahead of adults who lack the training and online skills to deal with it effectively and you have a cocktail of misery.
          Look back and you can directly compare the violence and despair amongst young people to that of the 1980s – an era of joblessness and decay.
          We need a progressive change in government to give some hope back to kids and move govt money away from giving handouts to racist millionaires and channel it into giving our young people their future back.

          • Is that the same “racist millionaire” who commented on someone who’s, been suspended from Labour for racism? I don’t condone any of them, but if you believe that criticism of one (dark) race is more serious than criticism of another (mid-tone) race, then it’s you who has the problem.

    • I am now convinced that comments should not have been allowed on this thread. I hope no local school pupils have been reading it.

      • How many times have you commented on a page that you don’t want people to comment on? Or do you only want people that agree with you to comment?

          • Fed up B , you may not know that on one of these comment threads recently Ms Pink/ Peter Checksfield called me a prostitute-but that’s not the word he used, it was a synonym beginning with w. I don’t care if you or he thinks I am boring.

      • There’s nothing here that would upset a school attendee, apart from perhaps making their ribs ache!

        • I see that Peter Checksfield/ Ms Pink is bored by my letting people know he called me a prostitute (well, a whore is what he wrote, actually) on one of these comments threads. If that’s not misogyny, what is it? Yet he is still allowed to comment here.

      • Well in case they are…
        It’s been my privilege to visit many schools and colleges over the last year and without exception – I’ve found staff to be incredibly warm and encouraging and pupils of all backgrounds an absolute joy to spend time with.
        We MUST back our young people in this country because they are capable of so much.
        I’m doing all I can to support any group that helps our young people here in Thanet and will continue to do so.

  9. Unironically, the Hartsdown school incident, like many others (let’s not forget Brianna), could be one of those “1000 cuts”.

    Expanding gangs another.

    Shoreline invasions, well, did I say that??

  10. Right here goes! I have no specialist knowledge but my guess is bullying is the same as racism. It is carried out by sad, pathetic people who want to make others feel as bad about themselves as they feel. These are people with low self esteem, so bullying, and hurting others makes them feel superior, or am I wrong?

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