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No evidence Katie Webb was bullied
CLAIMS a Worcestershire schoolgirl was bullied before her death have been dismissed by her headteacher.
Katie Webb was flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital last Wednesday after she was discovered at her Evesham home, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Rumours circulated on social networking site Facebook that the Simon De Montfort Middle School pupil may have taken her own life after suffering at the hands of bullies.
But headteacher, Caroline Browne, today spoke out against the speculation.
She said: “We are aware of some speculative rumours on some social media sites suggesting this tragedy was linked to bullying in school. We have no evidence or reason to believe this was the case.
“At Simon De Montfort Middle School we take all allegations of bullying very seriously and deal with them promptly and following our school policies.”
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to the 12-year-old over the past few days.
In a separate statement released through Worcestershire County Council today, Ms Browne said Katie was held in high regard by staff and would be very much missed.
She said: “We were all terribly shocked and upset to hear of the tragic death of Katie Webb.
“Katie was in Year 7 and I and my colleagues had a lot of affection for her. She was a young girl full of curiosity and was always interested in what was going on around her and eager to offer help to anyone.
“Katie enjoyed herself at school and we enjoyed having her with us. It is very, very sad and we will really miss her.
“Our thoughts are with her family, friends, students and staff at this very sad time and school will offer all the support we possibly can to all those affected.
“Our focus now is to help her family, friends and our whole community through this difficult time.”
In a letter to parents today, Ms Browne said pupils were made aware of the tragedy on Thursday morning.
She said Worcestershire’s Educational Psychology Service had been asked to come into school to work with its own staff to support youngsters and colleagues.
Ms Browne said there were plans to hold memorial service in the school at the appropriate time for Katie's family.
John Edwards, Worcestershire County Council's head of learning and achievement, said: "We are working with the school at this sad time to provide support through the council's Educational Psychology Service.
"These officers are able to give professional support to pupils, staff and parents who are understandably going through a very difficult time.
"We are not aware that this tragedy is in any way linked to bullying, as has been rumoured on social media sites."
Within hours of her death, flowers had been laid in her memory in the town’s Market Square and a tribute page on Facebook had received more than 2,000 ‘likes’ in sympathy.
Katie’s former headteacher David Braham at Bengeworth First School said his and the school’s sympathies were with her family, and described her as “a vibrant and happy pupil”.
Officers from West Mercia Police are currently investigating the death, which is being not being treated as suspicious.
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