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Monday, 21 November 2011

TORAN HENRY subject to racial abuse from school teacher CASPER Maria Bradshaw claimed

Teacher abuse was factor in death: mum March 31, 2008

The mother of a New Zealand teenager who killed himself after he was filmed being beaten by other students says bullying by a teacher, and not other students, was a factor in the death.

Toran Henry, 17, was found dead at his Auckland home 12 days ago, sparking three separate investigations by authorities.

It emerged on Sunday that Henry was beaten up by other students the day before his death, and the event was later watched on mobile phones by dozens of students

Henry's mother, Maria Bradshaw, on Monday told AAP she did not believe her son was bullied at school by other students.

She said while the beating may have been a factor in her son's death, she believed racial and emotional abuse by a teacher had played a far larger role.

"The focus so far has been on the beating, but my son was not bullied by students at the school ... He was bullied by a teacher at school," she said.

"He was let down very seriously by the senior management team at his school but predominantly he was let down by mental health services," Bradshaw said.

She said in one incident her son, who was part Cook Islander and Maori, was racially vilified by the teacher, who she now wants to see sacked.

In other incidents she said the same teacher prevented Henry from getting medicine he needed to control migraines, leaving him in pain.

Bradshaw said her son was a depressed boy, which stemmed from his father's abandonment of their family while Toran was just 14 months old.

She said local health authorities had told her son they could arrange a meeting with his father, but when this did not occur her son became more angry and depressed.

He voluntarily left school last year to study at home, but returned in November to try to get enough credits to undertake a business course at university.

The school's board of trustees have indicated they will look into the matter, while the local health board and police have also said they will investigate.

"The situation is tremendously sad and the circumstances are extremely delicate," the school's board said in a statement.

"There have been some serious allegations made about the school's processes in supporting Toran during his time at the school. The principal and board of trustees are treating these allegations very seriously," it said.

New Zealand Education Minister Chris Carter has said he will investigate to see whether the school had the right protocols in place to deal with bullying.

"In my view the minister of education's call for an inquiry into Takapuna Grammar School and its culture of bullying needs to focus on the bullying that occurred between teachers and children, not between children and children," Bradshaw said.

A website where the family and friends of Toran can leave messages has been set up at, while other people have posted video tributes to Toran

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