"The school is united in its grief."
Police are currently undergoing investigation after an 11-year-old boy killed himself hours after being reluctant of attending his new school.
Asad Khan, who had recently started secondary school, was found unresponsive by his mother in his bedroom and soon after passed away in hospital.
Bradford West MP, Naz Shah, said he may have been bullied and killed himself. Shah wrote on Facebook: “This evening 11-year-old Asad took his own life. Asad had just started his new school recently and bullying is something that has been mentioned.”
She expanded: “Bullying is something that is being looked at. It was something that was mentioned to me by one family member. His parents are distraught and I will be seeing them again today.”
Those who knew Asad were shocked and lost for words on the news, however, family members stated that the young boy was struggling with bullies. In the three weeks of attending Beckfoot Upper Heaton School, his aunt reports that he was being bullied.
Asad’s aunt, Rehana Bibi, 34, said: “Asad was was just a very good innocent child, he was so sweet and I just cannot believe he has gone like this.”
Thousands of people turned up to pay their respects for the young boy, some of whom were wearing t-shirts with ‘R.I.P Little Man Asad’ written on them. With many reports of bullying and cyber-bullying being on the rise, those who went to pay respect wanted to send out a message to stop bullying.
Former Bradford City Councillor Ishtiaq Ahmed also commented on the sad incident. He said that the young boy was “a very confident young man” and therefore, “he must have been experiencing real issues at school for him to take the action that he did.”
“Family members tell me he told his mum he was having problems at school before he took his own life. The whole community – the whole city – is in shock.”
Both MP Shah and Ahmed stated that more robust policies need to be in place to either offer care to those who are being bullied and to sanction those who are behind the bullying.
The community are also campaigning against bullying. Arshad Ali, who works as a psychotherapist said he is going to get together with Asian TV companies to raise awareness of bullying.
Ali says: “It is a hidden evil. So many people have come today in respect and mourning but this cannot be forgotten.”
Simon Wade, the headteacher at Beckfoot Upper Heaton school, said in a statement on the school’s website:
“It is with great sadness that we learnt last night of the death of Asad Khan, one of the school’s newest students.
“The school is united in its grief at this sad time. The school community is working together as students, parents and staff come to terms with these events. All our thoughts are with Asad’s family at this terribly difficult time.”
Detective Inspector Paula Bickerdike, of Bradford District Police, said: “We are continuing to investigate what was happening in his life prior to his death on behalf of the coroner and are appealing for anyone with information which may assist this inquiry to come forward.”
If you know of anyone who may be getting bullied or you are getting bullied yourself, contact the following organisations for support immediately or contact the police.
UK National Bullying Helpline – 0845 22 55 787. Visit their website.
Bullying Support Helpline – 0808 800 2222. Visit their website.
ChildLine – Call in confidence on 0800 1111.