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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 10:57 GMT
School bullies prompt bus boycott
A bus service in Gloucestershire is being boycotted by some children because of bullying on board.

Pupils at Gastrells Primary School near Stroud say they are tormented by older children from Archway Comprehensive on the 0810 service from Merrywalks.

One 10-year-old boy, who wants to remain anonymous, told BBC News he was sworn at and physically attacked.

Katie Howard, head teacher at Archway School, said the problem was being taken seriously.

"He's been stabbed in the head with a pencil, he's had chewing gum put in his hair.
Mother of 10-year-old boy

"I'm concerned about any student who can't get to school and feels intimidated. Any students identified were dealt with.

"We continue to talk to students in assemblies about our expectations of them outside school, but we are talking here about a small minority of the 1,000 students at our school."

The mother of the 10-year-old said: "He's been stabbed in the head with a pencil, he's had chewing gum put in his hair. I can't allow my son to go through this."

She is now paying for her son to ride to school in a private car.

Another mother, Myra Pontac, spends 75 a week in taxi fares sending her four children to Gastrells.

"We had terrible abuse, missiles thrown, almost causing accidents, pencils put down our backs. It's jokey, but irritating," she said.

She believes a dedicated primary school bus, similar to services run in the US, is the answer.


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