Teenage girl, 16, found hanged in school toilets 'after complaining she was being bullied by classmates'

A teenage girl was found dead in toilets at her school after complaining she was being bullied by other students, an inquest has heard.

Dagmara Przybysz’s mum Ewelina said her daughter had been having trouble with one girl in particular and on several occasions overheard comments such as ‘stupid Pole’.

The 16-year-old was pronounced dead after emergency crews desperately tried to revive her at Pool Academy in Pool, Cornwall at around 2.15pm on May 17 2016.

An inquest into her death heard the Polish-born teenager, who died as a result of hanging, had been having trouble with some girls at her school and had injured herself the day before she died by punching a wall after becoming angry because she said some girls were laughing at her.

In a statement, Dagmara’s mother, Ewelina, said her daughter, who was a “very beautiful lady”, got on better with boys. Most of her friends, including her boyfriend, went to Redruth School.

Dagmara Przybysz
The 16-year-old was pronounced dead after emergency crews desperately tried to revive her at Pool Academy in Pool, Cornwall
(Image: Facebook)

She said: “Dagmara often talked to me about her problems and she was hurt if someone said something unpleasant to her.”

Mrs Przybysz said she understood her daughter had been having a problem with one girl who had “called Dagmara names”.

“I don’t know exactly what was said,” she said.

“This incident occurred only a few days before Dagmara passed away … I don’t know whether these incidents were racist in nature; however, I can say that on several occasions she overheard comments such as ‘stupid Pole’.

“I can’t say when these comments were made. The last time was some time in the last year.”

Mrs Przybysz said on another occasion Dagmara heard a similar comment being made to another Polish or Lithuanian child and was “always trying to stand up” for the other child.

Megan-Ann Drake, who was in many classes with Dagmara, said that she mentioned how on an occasion a year 10 girl told her she “didn’t belong here,” Cornwall Live reports .

However she said that shortly before her death she was as in a good mood saying she’d been accepted for a photo shoot with a big company and was looking forward to the upcoming year 11 prom.

Various teachers have spoken of Dagmara being talented at arts and sports, even staying behind after school to play football.

She hoped to move to Truro College to take a photography course after finishing at Pool Academy.

Dagmara Przybysz
An inquest into her death heard the Polish-born teenager, who died as a result of hanging
(Image: Facebook)

Despite speaking good English she sometimes struggled with longer written passages and received extra support. She also had concerns over dyslexia.

Science teacher Jennifer Gill said that Dagmara was “a lovely girl who always has time to stop and talk”. She added she was a friendly and happy person.

Cornwall Coroner’s Court, sitting in Truro, heard Dagmara phoned her father the day before she died from school to say that she had injured herself in her PE lesson.

Her uncle Tomasz Dobek, who took her to hospital, said in a statement that was read to court: “She said she had been in PE and that some girls had laughed at her … she said she had got angry at them and punched the wall.”

He said during the drive to the hospital they saw two girls in Pool Academy uniforms and she had said to him: “Can you run them over?” but that he did not take the comment seriously.

Mr Dobek said Dagmara phoned him the following morning at around 6.20am while he was at a fish factory where he and both of her parents worked nights, crying and saying she had taken some tablets.

She said she was at her boyfriend’s grandmother’s house. The grandmother said Dagmara had been having trouble with a couple of girls recently.

Pool Academy
Pool Academy in Pool, Cornwall
(Image: Cornwall live)

Dagmara’s father, Jedrzej, said in a statement that Mr Dobek told him about the phone call and both he and Dagmara’s mother Ewelina left work early.

Mr Przybysz said: “She did not want to tell me the reason for her upset. Later she said she had problems at school which I would not understand.”

He said Dagmara did not look like a “person who had taken any tablets” and did not smell of alcohol so he told her to go to school and said they would have a “serious conversation” about her problems when she returned.

Mr Przybysz said: “My wife and I kept wondering whether we should have kept Dagmara home that day but there was no physical sign that she had taken any tablets, otherwise we would have taken her to hospital.”

Mr Przybysz said he was waiting outside Pool Academy to collect Dagmara when he had a phone call from his wife, who told him that the police were at their home and that Dagmara was dead.

The family lived in Redruth and Dagmara and her younger sister went to Pennoweth Primary School where they “very quickly learned English” but were the “first Polish children to attend the school”, he added.

Mr Przybysz said “Dagmara had many friends at this school” and that they decided to send her to Pool Academy for her secondary education because it had a good reputation, though most of her friends went to Redruth School.

He said: “She still kept in touch with her friends from Pennoweth and also at Redruth School.

“She asked us to move her to Redruth School. It was me and my wife who did not want to agree to such a move as we continued to think the school she was now a pupil in was the better school.”

Mr Przybysz said his daughter would talk to him and his wife about her day after coming home from school and sometimes said other children had made “bad remarks” to her.

In a statement read out to the hearing, pathologist Dr Juliane Stolte, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said the cause of death was hanging.

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org .

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