You Can Help Make School Bullying Illegal By Supporting Ayden's Law

02/10/2014 10:47 | Updated 22 May 2015

Shy Keenan's son Ayden was bullied to death - he committed suicide at the age of 14. His mother discovered him in his bedroom the morning after he had taken an overdose.

Shy describes her son as 'sweet, lovely, kind with a great sense of fairness...he was popular; he had friends, not a sad loner'. But Ayden was bullied remorselessly after he said he thought he was gay.

Shy, a justice campaigner in her own right, has started a joint campaign in her son's name with the anti-bullying charity BeatBullying and The Sun newspaper. Ayden's Law would make bullying in school a crime for the first time.

Shy and fellow campaigner and close friend, Dr Sara Payne MBE, came to the Parentdish offices to explain why Ayden's Law is needed.

Shy believes current anti-bullying school policies are simply not enough and she is calling for a summit meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss her proposals.

Her voice breaking, she told us in our video interview:


Their policy doesn't work - my evidence is my dead son....Children deserve to go to school and not feel terrorised and petrified.


Shy is haunted by the memory of her son - 'we couldn't wait for him to grow up - we thought we could pat ourselves on the back, we did good' - and the discovery of his lifeless body in March that brought all those hopes and joy to an abrupt, hideous end. She has lost 3 stone in as many months, can't sleep and is going through the motions of normal life.

But the one thing keeping her going is her anger at his senseless death and determination that 'children deserve to go to school and not feel terrorised and petrified.'

Ayden's Law would protect children who become victims of bullying.

The new law would:

Make bullying and intimidation a criminal offence

Increase community-based bullying prevention

Introduce a statutory requirement for Government to publish A Children and Young People's Annual

Anti-Bullying Strategy for the UK

Support families with children who bully to change their behaviour.

'The last thing we want is to criminalise children but the adults in charge of safeguarding our children must take charge,' she says.

CEO and founder of BeatBullying, Emma-Jane Cross, who worked on shaping the proposals, told Parentdish:"Ayden's Law is a campaign on behalf of all the young people who have lost their lives because of bullying, their families, and any child being bullied today.


Together we can prevent other children from seeing suicide as their only escape route.

"Please show your support and back the campaign by signing our petition or sharing your story at"

Here at Parentdish we know that bullying presents a serious threat to our children's happiness and health and that the fear of our children being bullied is a constant worry for parents. That's why we are joining forces with the charity BeatBullying to campaign for Ayden's Law.

Our continuing partnership with BeatBullying means we will also be bringing you information and advice on bullying and what parents and children can do.

To sign the Ayden's Law petition, click here.


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