A 12-year-old girl who suffered years of bullying over her size was left in floods of tears after she was given the part of Augustus Gloop in the school Christmas play.
Lexi Shaw was shocked when she received the script in the post with her initials next to the lardy male role for the Year 8 production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
She was invited to learn some of Gloop’s lines, which included: “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, I love the chocolate, I must eat all the time, Ummmmm!”
Lexi was off sick with tonsillitis last Friday when she received the script from Lees Brook Community School in Chaddesden, Derbys.
In the children’s classic, written by Roald Dahl, Augustus Gloop is fat boy hooked on chocolate who wins the chance to visit Willy Wonka’s factory.
Lexi, who has learning difficulties, has suffered years of bullying after her health issues meant she piled on the pounds and now weighs around ten stone.
Mum Becky Shaw, 30, from Chaddesden, said: “I was disgusted, fuming.
“We have had so many meetings with the school about her weight so for them to do this is absolutely disgusting.
“When she first read the script she was angry, sad and embarrassed because she really hates how she looks.”
“She was really worried she would have to perform in front of hundreds of pupils.
“She was upset and confused when she realised she would be playing Augustus Gloop. She didn’t even audition for a part in the production.
“The teachers have typecast her because of her size. It’s appalling.
“Lexi has tried very hard to lose weight, and we have taken advice from health professionals.”
Lexi, who has a brother Harley, 11, was diagnosed with a range of learning difficulties following an NHS psychological assessment earlier this year.
Becky, who works as a butcher, added: “She doesn’t understand any of the work so she then doesn’t understand what she is doing there and gets frustrated.
“I don’t want her to be one of those 18-year-olds who doesn’t know what to do.”
The school, which caters for 1,149 pupils aged 11-19, was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted last year.
Headteacher Zoe House confirmed the school was investigating the decision behind assigning Lexi the role of Augustus Gloop.
She said Lexi would not be forced to play any role she was “not comfortable with.”
She added: “The drama co-coordinator rang home to discuss things with mum and reassure that we would obviously sort things out for Lexi but mum did not answer and has not returned the call.”