Tom Daley, 14 Year Old Olympian, Bullied Out of School
Tom Daley, the 14 year-old Olympic diver from Britain has quit school after repeated bullying throughout the year.
Daley, who placed seventh in the 10 metre individual dive at the Beijing games, has faced bullying ranging from being "rugby-tackled" on the playground to being dubbed "Speedo boy" at his school, Eggbuckland Community College.
The abuse began when Tom returned from the Beijing Olympics last summer after finishing seventh in the men's 10m diving event. Tom said: "I have fans outside school but in school it's the opposite. They all hate me. It's even the little kids. They copy the older ones. They've been taking the mickey for ages but now spend most of their time throwing stuff at me. I try not to go out during breaks, I just stay in class."
The most recent incident was the last straw: an older boy cornered Daley saying, "How much are those legs worth? We're going to break your legs."
Eggbuckland Community College principal, Katrina Borowski said, "Tom's high profile led a minority of students to act in an immature way."
"I'd always ignored the 'diver boy' or 'Speedo boy' comments when I came back from Beijing last year, hoping they'd get fed up and stop," he said.
"The trouble is they haven't, and it's even the younger kids who are joining in. It's getting to the stage now where I think 'oh, to hell with it. I don't want to go back to school'."
The will-be 2012 medal hopeful already has top-tier, prestigious private schools competing for his attendance.
Rob and Debbie Daley are now in discussions about a place at Plymouth College, which is home to an elite swimming club and charges up to £18,000 a year.
Mr Daley, 38, told The Times, “They understand the requirements of elite athletes.
“Academically Tom’s doing very well and that’s why we need to concentrate on his education.
The college said they would offer Tom a “very significant scholarship” to enable him to attend.
Daley is scheduled to compete in Florida in the coming weeks.