The family of Lauren Lelonek have welcomed the school and the police’s recognition that there were failures to protect Lauren from bullying and harassment, three years after her death.
Lauren took her life in 2016, aged 16, after suffering from bullying and harassment over a period of many months.
Ms Greene, who was the principle of the University Chester Academy Northwich when Lauren attended, acknowledged that although the school completed a risk assessment with some measures to protect Lauren, it came 5 months too late. It was accepted that it had been wrong to punish and temporarily exclude Lauren from school when she had been a victim of severe and prolonged harassment.
The Cheshire Police acknowledged that it had failed to conduct a criminal investigation into the ongoing harassment of Lauren, which had been brought to the attention of the police on numerous occasions.
Lauren’s family said:
“It should not have taken three years and an inquest for these failings to be accepted. After Lauren’s death the University of Chester Academy Trust provided an internal review which claimed that Lauren had not been bullied and that the school had complied with its policies. That caused us huge distress as we knew it to be completely and utterly wrong. We are glad that this has, finally, been acknowledged.
“Losing Lauren has destroyed us. We will never be the same again. Our hearts are truly broken. We miss her so much.”
“It has taken three years for those involved to accept that things should and could have been done differently. The family have finally obtained the recognition that they have been fighting for. They hope that the lessons they say have been learnt will be put into practice so that no other family has to go through what they have had to.”