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Pupils excluded from Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs for sharing footage of attack on schoolgirl Evee-Anne Cooper

By Katie Davis

Pupils who shared distressing footage of a violent attack on a 12-year-old girl have been excluded or suspended from school.

The Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs has confirmed students have been suspended or excluded for circulating the video or leaving "unacceptable" comments online about the brutal assault on fellow pupils Evee-Anne Cooper.

It has refused to reveal specific details of the number of sanctions dished out in connection with the aftermath of the incident.

Asked if pupils had been excluded or suspended as a result of sharing the footage or making unacceptable comments, executive head teacher Kirstin Cardus said: "Yes, but we are not prepared to share the details of that."

She added: "The Charles Dickens School is working closely with the police, the victim and her family, and other agencies regarding the ongoing investigation, which also includes the social media aspect of this, as well as our focus on keeping all students safe.

"We continue to be vigilant. There have been assemblies with the students and clear messages via tutor time regarding our expectations of acceptable behaviour, including social media postings, and the serious consequences for any retaliation or for continuing to share/distribute any footage or make unacceptable online comments."

The school had previously released a statement condemning the attack on Evee-Anne by a girl said to be a former pupil at the school.

Distressing footage of the assault shows Evee-Anne being grabbed by her hair and struck four times in the face before a knee to her head knocks her to the ground.

Evee-Anne Cooper
Evee-Anne Cooper

In the 33-second clip, she then begs for the beating to stop, but her attacker punches her another four times in the face as she holds her head up by her hair.

As she cries out and lays on the pavement, the thug kicks her twice more in the face and then stamps on her head, knocking her unconscious.

Girls, aged 13, 14 and 15, were later arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail.

The video of the ordeal was filmed in Arlington Gardens, Margate, at 3.30pm last Thursday.

It is so distressing that KentOnline has decided not to show it.

Evee-Anne and dad Paul
Evee-Anne and dad Paul

Evee-Anne was taken to hospital for treatment for head injuries.

Her heartbroken dad, Paul Cooper, says watching the vile assault left him feeling like the "world was caving in" beneath him.

Speaking to KentOnline's sister paper, the Thanet Extra, the day after the attack, he said: "When I first saw the video I couldn't watch it - it was heartbreaking.

"I got extremely upset in the evening at the hospital. I had to go outside and get some air.

"And then I spoke to Evee-Anne and watched all of it later on - it was like the world was just caving in from underneath my feet.

"For me, watching that was like watching my little girl die - that's what it felt like inside..." - Paul Cooper, Evee-Anne's father

"At the end of the video when she was stamped on she was knocked out, clean unconscious on the floor.

"For me, watching that was like watching my little girl die - that's what it felt like inside.

"I don't think people understand how horrific it is until they watch the video.

"People are still commenting saying 'I don't know how this girl is alive'."

Evee-Anne was recovering at home the morning after the attach, with her family heartened by the deluge of support from the local community and across the country - including A-list celebrities calling for justice.

Hollywood actor Hugh Grant took to Twitter to say the parents of those responsible should be arrested.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Evee-Anne has collected more than £6,000.

Mr Cooper added: "I think she's a little warrior inside.

"The community support has been absolutely massive."

Evee-Anne's mum, Amanda Morris, said watching the footage had left her feeling sick to her stomach.

"To find a video of this all over social media is disgusting and the girls stood and filmed and done nothing are just as bad as the girl that done the assault," she said.

"I'm absolutely devastated and sick to my stomach. My little girl is now home with her loved ones. I hope justice will be done."

Two girls, aged 13 and 14, were arrested on suspicion of assault in the hours after the attack.

A third, aged 15, was arrested the following day.

All three have been released on bail while inquiries continue.

A demonstration to support Evee-Anne was organised to take place outside Margate police station this Saturday but was later called off.

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