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Anorak | Tabloid Press Go To Town On Michael Raven With Stories of Facebook Bullies And Girl Gangs

Tabloid Press Go To Town On Michael Raven With Stories of Facebook Bullies And Girl Gangs

by | 1st, December 2011

MICHAEL Raven hanged himself. He was a 12 year old  pupil at St Wilfrid’s Church of England Academy in Blackburn.

We don’t know why. The Blackburn schoolboy left no note.

The Sun gets hold of the story. It produces the headline:

Hanged boy 12, ‘bullied by girl gang’

A reader writes:

My daughter told me about it before it was in the paper – her best friend goes to the same school. She also told me the name of a girl who’s being accused of bullying Michael and said this girl had to close her Facebook account because of all the abuse she was getting and this was all on the day it was announced.

In the comments I’ve read in the Lancashire Telegraph and on Facebook, it looks as if he was bullied and I’ve seen the same girl mentioned many times. I’ve also seen the plural bullies, indicating it wasn’t just her, but no mention of any ‘gang’ so where did The Sun get its headline from?

I feel sorry for his family and hope they don’t read the LT comments because, when I last looked, it had turned more into an argument about the school’s bullying policy than anything else.

The LT duly produces a second news story. This one tells readers:
No evidence that Blackburn schoolboy Michael Raven, 12, found hanged was being bullies
We are told:

David Whyte, principal of St Wilfrid’s CofE Academy, said: “The school is aware of the rumours and accusations being made on social networks and have already started an investigation. We can confirm that the school was not made aware of any bullying concerns in relation to Michael.

Had we been informed of any concerns we would have followed appropriate school procedure and acted accordingly.

Any accusations of bullying are taken extremely seriously by this school.

I would like to make it clear that it is particularly unhelpful and inappropriate for anyone to speculate and circulate unfounded rumours.”

Some respect for the dead boy, his family and the investigation, then… No. The Mail says:

Schoolboy, 12, found hanged after he was ‘bullied by girl gang for being autistic’

Emily Allen does not give her readers a shred of proof that Michael Raven was being bullied.

But who need facts when you can press f9 on your keyboard and trigger the usual comments…



Posted: 1st, December 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink