A “beautifully innocent” 12-year-old girl has died in her father’s arms after she was tormented by school bullies because she didn’t know much about sex.
Holly Stuckey’s tragic death is likely to heighten concern about the increasing sexualisation of society and the effect which this is having on the nation’s youngsters.
Her father Clive, who works as a carer for the elderly, said: “People made fun of her because she did not know much about sex education. She was a beautifully innocent young girl but the kids turned on her and started to call her a lesbian because she didn’t know as much as them.”
Holly had kept her struggles hidden from her parents, but after her death they discovered a stash of letters revealing their only daughter’s heartbreaking plight.
One note, which was written in pink biro, said: “I hate you for what you’ve done to me. I feel like no one.”
Holly collapsed just days into her second year at Maesteg Comprehensive School, in Wales, after she came home complaining about chest pains and a shortness of breath.
Holly, who has been described as quiet and timid, suffered from asthma but this condition was believed to have been under control and an initial post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.
But Mr Stuckey believes the emotional strain of Holly’s bullying ordeal may have put too much pressure on her heart.
He said: “We just don’t know but it could have been the emotional strain of what she was going through which brought on a heart attack.
“I have been contacted by several other parents who have told me that their children are being bullied. I want other parents to stand up for their children. I want to protect them.”
The 42-year-old father has now handed the names of 13 children to police who are investigating Holly’s death.
A spokesman for the school said: “We employ a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and offer quick action to support victims, deal with bullies and resolve any conflicts.
“If any pupil is found to have been involved in bullying, their parents are informed and are asked to attend a meeting along with their child, where the school’s position is made very clear.
“Appropriate action is then taken as required.”
Last month a Girlguiding survey revealed that girls find pressure to look attractive one of the worst aspects of being female.
The poll, which questioned over 1,200 seven to 21-year-olds on a number of subjects, also found respondents blamed pressure from peers for high levels of “unprotected” sex and binge drinking.
Girlguiding UK’s spokeswoman, Cathy Fraser, said that girls are living in a “extremely stressful” world which can lead to “a range of unhealthy behaviours and outcomes”.
The spokeswoman added: “It is vital that we support girls and young women to develop their self-esteem and resilience so they can cope with it.”
Responding to a question about disadvantages to being a female, 47 per cent named the “pressure to look attractive”.
Last year research revealed that young girls were being physically abused and pressured into sex by their boyfriends.
Nearly nine in ten girls aged 13 to 17 had been involved in an “intimate” relationship, according to the survey of 1,353 young people which was carried out by the NSPCC and Bristol University.
Of those girls, one in six reported being pressured into having sex, while one in 16 said they had been raped.
A quarter of the girls had suffered physical violence such as being slapped, punched, or beaten by their boyfriends, the survey found.