Michael Raven’s death: tabloid lies and Daily Mail ghouls
THE tabloid press went to town over the death of Michael Raven with stories of Facebook bullies and girl gangs.The Sun yelled:
Hanged boy 12, ‘bullied by girl gang’
(More on the Sun’s suicide reports here.)
The Daily Mail thundered:
Schoolboy, 12, found hanged after he was ‘bullied by girl gang for being autistic’
12-year-old boy found hanged at his home was being bullied by a gang of girls, it has been claimed…Michael Raven, believed to have been autistic,
The Mail’s readers commented:
As an Ambassador for the National Autistic Society and an autistic person myself who has been the victim of bullying I am deeply saddened by this news. I will take it upon myself to raise more awareness about this in my local area and make sure children with autism are protected by teachers who have a duty of care to their pupils so that other children don’t have to suffer like Michael did.
– Marco Gianetti, Plymouth,UK,
A little boy died because he was so distressed about being bullied and no-one noticed what was going on? My daughter’s school has notices all over the place about how to behave to others without actually mentioning the word “bullying” and this works very well. RIP.
– Cheryl, London
And the death-glorying:
Rest in peace angel, you were too good for this cruel world xxx
– Asperger’s Mummy, swansea, 01/12/2011
The Lancashire Telegraph reports:
Bullying not a factor in East Lancashire schoolboy’s death
“Education officials have confirmed there had been no bullying concerns immediately prior to Michael’s death – issues had arisen previously which were said to have been satisfactorily addressed with the youngsters involved and their parents.
Online speculation that bullying had affected the student prior to his death was condemned at the time by the school as ‘particularly unhelpful’.“
Such are the facts…