A group of Fixers, who have lost loved-ones at a young age, want schools to be better prepared to help and support young people in their bereavement process.
The Fixers from Launceston, Cornwall have found it difficult to talk to their teachers about their bereavement, and often feel misunderstood by their teachers when they behave badly.
The group feels there are many situations in schools which can trigger reactions from a grieving young person, including tasks such as talking about religious studies and drawing family trees.
To tackle this issue, the Fixers are producing a leaflet for teachers, which highlights how to deal with grieving young people and how to spot signs of bereavement that could negatively affect their behaviour.
Lead Fixer Jasmine Crayton’s brother, Jordan, died of osteosarcoma in April 2010 when Jasmine was only 14.
The 17-year-old says: ‘My brother Jordan was my best friend. He was the happiest person I know and the bravest person.
‘After Jordan died, I went back to school about a month later but was bullied by other pupils, who thought I was getting special treatment. I felt the teachers didn’t take this bullying seriously.
Figures from Families in Grief estimate that 1 in 25 young people have experienced the death of a parent or sibling.
‘You don’t want to be wrapped in cotton wool, but you are not going to feel normal as soon as you go back,’ Jasmine explains.
‘With Fixers we’re going to make a magazine. We hope teachers and pupils will read it to understand exactly what students who have experienced loss of a loved-one go through.
‘I hope our project will help other young bereaved children, so they don’t have to go through the bullying or the problems some bereaved children have gone through at school.’
Supporting the group on their Fixers project is Penhaligon's Friends, a Cornish charity which supports children and young people struggling with bereavement.