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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 12:22 GMT
Bodyguards deter S Korea bullies
The South Korean government is to provide free bodyguards to students who are being targeted by violent bullies.

The bodyguards, who may be police officers or security guards, will accompany students to their classroom.

"We are going to try to protect the student who is being bullied and find out who is doing the bullying" said education official Park Jung-hee.

Over 6,000 students were disciplined last year for carrying out violent acts on peers, official statistics say.

Bullying in South Korea has become a serious problem in middle schools, resulting in some cases of suicide.

One high school girl hanged herself after classmates branded her too ugly, and another at elementary school killed herself after being alienated by classmates for coming top of the class.

The idea of bodyguards is one of several drawn up by the education ministry to tackle bullying.

Other ideas include counselling, better training for teachers and increased police patrols around schools.

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