Anger as school threatens to bin flowers left in memory of hanged pupil Aleysha Rothwell

Anger as school threatens to bin flowers left in memory of hanged pupil Aleysha Rothwell

Flowers left for Aleysha Rothwell

Flowers left for Aleysha Rothwell

Flowers left for Aleysha Rothwell

Flowers left for Aleysha Rothwell

Flowers left for Aleysha Rothwell

Aleysha, left, and girlfriend Beth Lees

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , news feature writer

ANGRY friends of tragic Aleysha Rothwell claim they were told to remove flowers left at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy after Friday night’s vigil — or they would be binned.

Girlfriend Beth Lees and friend Morgan Pritchard were left devastated when it was discovered the 16-year-old had hanged herself on Thursday.

They were further upset at the weekend after being told that the tributes left by more than 300 of her friends were not permitted at the school.

The Friday evening vigil, which had started at Home Bargains in Bury Road, Breightmet, saw flowers, lanterns, teddies, notes and balloons taken up to the academy in Stitch Mi Lane and laid out in memory of their friend.

But on Saturday, Beth went back to pay her respects and found that the flowers had been taken to another location to keep safe after a member of staff had reportedly said that everything would be thrown away if left there over the weekend.

Beth said: “I’m fuming. We feel like we are not being taken seriously and being brushed aside like it isn’t important. We feel totally let down by the school.

“We arranged the get-together on Friday to take up the flowers and teddies up to the school and we were overwhelmed by the support it gained. We all laid them neatly out at the entrance and lit the lanterns.

“But then on Saturday I came back and all the flowers had moved. I was told that they were going to be binned if they were still there on the Monday so a friend, Ellen Hammond, who has been really helpful and supportive, took them into her back garden to keep them safe until Monday.”

Cllr Linda Rothwell, who is on the board of governors at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, said: “This is the first I have heard about the flowers and I am very shocked that this has happened. I will be investigating this myself.”

Beth also revealed that she believed that the death of her girlfriend of five months could have been prevented if her severe episode of self harming earlier in the week was taken seriously. Aleysha was found dead at her home in Crossdale Road, Breightmet, on Thursday afternoon.

Beth said: “We could tell that something had been bubbling for the last few weeks. She said that she had a voice in her head telling her to harm herself.

“On Tuesday, two days before she died, I had to bandage her up because she had hurt herself so badly. I had never seen anything like it. She had pretty much stopped doing it since she started living with her foster mum Bev, who really helped build her confidence over the last couple of years. I rang the NHS helpline and they sent an ambulance. But at the hospital they told her that she was just having a bad day as if she was attention seeking. If they had taken her seriously I think she would still be alive.

“She was supposed to be in school on the Wednesday but when she didn’t turn up I started to panic a bit, but she had a habit of going off on long walks by herself and not speaking to anyone for a day.

“Then I received an email on the Thursday from her best friend saying that there was an ambulance at Aleysha’s house. That’s when I knew she’d done it — she’d finally had enough.”

The two friends praised everyone who came to the vigil and donated to Aleysha’s collection, which raised £930.

Morgan said: “We don’t want Aleysha’s name to fade away with time so we will be doing some more fundraisers for her soon, including a walk to the Reebok Stadium on Wednesday where we will be collecting for her again.

“We raised £930 on Friday night, which is incredible. We are going to put it towards a headstone for Aleysha and a bench with a plaque for her.

“We really appreciate all the donations and support we have received from everyone so far.”

Comments (10)

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10:06am Mon 7 Apr 14

atlas123 says...

It sounds like typical chineese whispers.

I suspect the truth will be the school have moved the flowers to a better location so as not to cause a problem / safety issue at the main entrance.

Once the flowers are past their best they will then be binned in a suitable bin... What else can you do with them?

Perhaps a nice idea might be for the art department to do some photography with them, or perhaps make a large pressed flower/petal montage to preserve some and Alasha's memory?

Still its a difficult situation to manage, teenagers are inexperienced emotional, hormone ravaged, friendship and companionship fuelled beings at the best of time - I know i was.
It sounds like typical chineese whispers. I suspect the truth will be the school have moved the flowers to a better location so as not to cause a problem / safety issue at the main entrance. Once the flowers are past their best they will then be binned in a suitable bin... What else can you do with them? Perhaps a nice idea might be for the art department to do some photography with them, or perhaps make a large pressed flower/petal montage to preserve some and Alasha's memory? Still its a difficult situation to manage, teenagers are inexperienced emotional, hormone ravaged, friendship and companionship fuelled beings at the best of time - I know i was. atlas123
  • Score: 38

10:29am Mon 7 Apr 14

mililly says...

atlas123 wrote:
It sounds like typical chineese whispers.

I suspect the truth will be the school have moved the flowers to a better location so as not to cause a problem / safety issue at the main entrance.

Once the flowers are past their best they will then be binned in a suitable bin... What else can you do with them?

Perhaps a nice idea might be for the art department to do some photography with them, or perhaps make a large pressed flower/petal montage to preserve some and Alasha's memory?

Still its a difficult situation to manage, teenagers are inexperienced emotional, hormone ravaged, friendship and companionship fuelled beings at the best of time - I know i was.
I quite agree I dont really think teachers are that I sensative.
[quote][p][bold]atlas123[/bold] wrote: It sounds like typical chineese whispers. I suspect the truth will be the school have moved the flowers to a better location so as not to cause a problem / safety issue at the main entrance. Once the flowers are past their best they will then be binned in a suitable bin... What else can you do with them? Perhaps a nice idea might be for the art department to do some photography with them, or perhaps make a large pressed flower/petal montage to preserve some and Alasha's memory? Still its a difficult situation to manage, teenagers are inexperienced emotional, hormone ravaged, friendship and companionship fuelled beings at the best of time - I know i was.[/p][/quote]I quite agree I dont really think teachers are that I sensative. mililly
  • Score: 19

12:18pm Mon 7 Apr 14

BrendanJabbers says...

"But at the hospital they told her that she was just having a bad day as if she was attention seeking. If they had taken her seriously I think she would still be alive".
I realise it's a traumatic time for all concerned but I think it's rather unfair of this young lady to blame health care professionals in this way. She says "as if she was attention seeking". How does she know what the nursing staff were thinking? There are obviously many reasons stemming from her personal life why this young lady did what she did, and blaming the very people who tried to help her is wrong, as is the second hand gossip about the flowers which sparked this article. Let the poor girl rest in peace - my thoughts and prayersa are with her family.
"But at the hospital they told her that she was just having a bad day as if she was attention seeking. If they had taken her seriously I think she would still be alive". I realise it's a traumatic time for all concerned but I think it's rather unfair of this young lady to blame health care professionals in this way. She says "as if she was attention seeking". How does she know what the nursing staff were thinking? There are obviously many reasons stemming from her personal life why this young lady did what she did, and blaming the very people who tried to help her is wrong, as is the second hand gossip about the flowers which sparked this article. Let the poor girl rest in peace - my thoughts and prayersa are with her family. BrendanJabbers
  • Score: 10

12:24pm Mon 7 Apr 14

lovebolton-honestly! says...

BrendanJabbers wrote:
"But at the hospital they told her that she was just having a bad day as if she was attention seeking. If they had taken her seriously I think she would still be alive".
I realise it's a traumatic time for all concerned but I think it's rather unfair of this young lady to blame health care professionals in this way. She says "as if she was attention seeking". How does she know what the nursing staff were thinking? There are obviously many reasons stemming from her personal life why this young lady did what she did, and blaming the very people who tried to help her is wrong, as is the second hand gossip about the flowers which sparked this article. Let the poor girl rest in peace - my thoughts and prayersa are with her family.
I agree. I also think that it is unfair and irresponsible of the Bolton News to print the emotional rant of a teenage girl. Rest in Peace
[quote][p][bold]BrendanJabbers[/bold] wrote: "But at the hospital they told her that she was just having a bad day as if she was attention seeking. If they had taken her seriously I think she would still be alive". I realise it's a traumatic time for all concerned but I think it's rather unfair of this young lady to blame health care professionals in this way. She says "as if she was attention seeking". How does she know what the nursing staff were thinking? There are obviously many reasons stemming from her personal life why this young lady did what she did, and blaming the very people who tried to help her is wrong, as is the second hand gossip about the flowers which sparked this article. Let the poor girl rest in peace - my thoughts and prayersa are with her family.[/p][/quote]I agree. I also think that it is unfair and irresponsible of the Bolton News to print the emotional rant of a teenage girl. Rest in Peace lovebolton-honestly!
  • Score: 18

12:46pm Mon 7 Apr 14

ah1993 says...

i live round the corner it is true that the school would not let them keep them at the school as they would be thrown away as far as im aware theystill wouldent let them leave the flowers out side its not because they was near main dors if the school had any desantsy they would let the kids have there time to remember there friend with out any problems its not right how they wont
i live round the corner it is true that the school would not let them keep them at the school as they would be thrown away as far as im aware theystill wouldent let them leave the flowers out side its not because they was near main dors if the school had any desantsy they would let the kids have there time to remember there friend with out any problems its not right how they wont ah1993
  • Score: -5

1:10pm Mon 7 Apr 14

macauley says...

let the girl r.i.p.if they had took notice the poor kid might still be with us.
let the girl r.i.p.if they had took notice the poor kid might still be with us. macauley
  • Score: 6

1:42pm Mon 7 Apr 14

nicolajayne says...

Suicide is a taboo subject which no one will understand and in my mind there is no right or wrong but is a permanent measure to a temporary situation or moment in time, torment of the head/brain hurts deep and the need to make it stop breaks you into trillions of pieces . cries for help can be seen as just attention seeking but until you have been to that point how can one understand ??? I as a person suffer with mental illness and I know people think I,m weird/strange. I see my community hurt and rocked by a tragic loss god bless you just wish I could have helped you as I understand to some extent. our mental health system needs more help not cut backs. its ok to raise awareness don't let this young girls life be in vain but let it be known together we can fight and get help in times of desperation .Redirected anger at health services, school does not make it right either is ok for someone feeling vunerable to see reactions (which are great fund raising) but the shrines I,m talking about to someone who is vunerable they will look great , do that many people care for me ? because at that time of feeling suicidal you DO feel totally alone/ isolated and hey will these people do this for me type of reaction could lead them on to the only way they see forward then its too late, please don't see that as an insult to actions but as a person who has felt that low personal feelings. PLEASE continue your support for one another, turn to your family,friends and even your school I know they too feel your pain but maybe cannot let pupils feel that it is the way forward as most things can be worked out. love and hugs to you all rest in peace Aleysha
Suicide is a taboo subject which no one will understand and in my mind there is no right or wrong but is a permanent measure to a temporary situation or moment in time, torment of the head/brain hurts deep and the need to make it stop breaks you into trillions of pieces . cries for help can be seen as just attention seeking but until you have been to that point how can one understand ??? I as a person suffer with mental illness and I know people think I,m weird/strange. I see my community hurt and rocked by a tragic loss god bless you just wish I could have helped you as I understand to some extent. our mental health system needs more help not cut backs. its ok to raise awareness don't let this young girls life be in vain but let it be known together we can fight and get help in times of desperation .Redirected anger at health services, school does not make it right either is ok for someone feeling vunerable to see reactions (which are great fund raising) but the shrines I,m talking about to someone who is vunerable they will look great , do that many people care for me ? because at that time of feeling suicidal you DO feel totally alone/ isolated and hey will these people do this for me type of reaction could lead them on to the only way they see forward then its too late, please don't see that as an insult to actions but as a person who has felt that low personal feelings. PLEASE continue your support for one another, turn to your family,friends and even your school I know they too feel your pain but maybe cannot let pupils feel that it is the way forward as most things can be worked out. love and hugs to you all rest in peace Aleysha nicolajayne
  • Score: 11

4:38pm Mon 7 Apr 14

wsw69 says...

So bloody sad and so much to live for. RIP Aleysha.

If this turns out to be correct, then someone at that school should be fired. And when I say fired I MEAN given the boot and NOT a quiet ticking off.

I hear many may ask why should someone be fired. The reason is if someone
can be so insensitive, pathetic and so much of an **** wipe of a jobs worth, then they aint fit to be working in an education establishment.

As for the reporting element, I find it wrong that so much of a personal opinion etc has been posted. That should not have been published. But then again, it is the Bolton Andrex afterall.
So bloody sad and so much to live for. RIP Aleysha. If this turns out to be correct, then someone at that school should be fired. And when I say fired I MEAN given the boot and NOT a quiet ticking off. I hear many may ask why should someone be fired. The reason is if someone can be so insensitive, pathetic and so much of an **** wipe of a jobs worth, then they aint fit to be working in an education establishment. As for the reporting element, I find it wrong that so much of a personal opinion etc has been posted. That should not have been published. But then again, it is the Bolton Andrex afterall. wsw69
  • Score: 8

12:19am Tue 8 Apr 14

mr.mark.c says...

So non of the 300+ friends was there for her when she was self harming and feeling suicidal ?
More like 300+ jumping on a band wagon.
R.I.P lass, a pointless end to what could have been a long life.
So non of the 300+ friends was there for her when she was self harming and feeling suicidal ? More like 300+ jumping on a band wagon. R.I.P lass, a pointless end to what could have been a long life. mr.mark.c
  • Score: 6

1:01am Tue 8 Apr 14

BoltonGirlxx says...

mr.mark.c wrote:
So non of the 300+ friends was there for her when she was self harming and feeling suicidal ?
More like 300+ jumping on a band wagon.
R.I.P lass, a pointless end to what could have been a long life.
very valid point, Stuff like this is hard to explain, but if it is bullying I bet the Bully is now trying to wallow in the attention of losing a friend. We all went to school, we all know the type I mean.
[quote][p][bold]mr.mark.c[/bold] wrote: So non of the 300+ friends was there for her when she was self harming and feeling suicidal ? More like 300+ jumping on a band wagon. R.I.P lass, a pointless end to what could have been a long life.[/p][/quote]very valid point, Stuff like this is hard to explain, but if it is bullying I bet the Bully is now trying to wallow in the attention of losing a friend. We all went to school, we all know the type I mean. BoltonGirlxx
  • Score: 7

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