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The BBC's James Westhead
"The mobile phone is the latest weapon for bullies"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 17:05 GMT
Girl tormented by phone bullies
Phoebe Pluckrose-Oliver
Phoebe's phone became an instrument of torment
A mobile phone meant 10-year-old Phoebe Pluckrose-Oliver was never safe from bullies even in her own bedroom.

Each night she would get up to seven abusive text messages and 20 calls a day from other girls at her school, the Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.

Phoebe told the BBC: "They started phoning me saying that I was in the cow club and that I should phone the loser line and stuff.

"They got my friend's little sister to whisper stuff like 'I'm going to kill you'. It was really immature, but really upsetting too."

Carole Pluckrose
Her mother Carole Pluckrose went to the school with the evidence

Phoebe's parents noticed that she had become more withdrawn and complained of having headaches. She also did not want to go to school.

Fortunately, Phoebe had kept her tormenters' evidence by not wiping the text messages from her phone.

Her mother Carole Pluckrose said: "It was good to have the evidence. She was sensible enough to hold on to the messages, so we could go straight into school and say, 'listen, this is what happened.'"

The bullies were tackled quickly and effectively. They were put under close supervision by the teachers and the school and bullying immediately stopped.

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See also:

16 Jan 01 | Education
Control freaks 'create bully victims'
09 Mar 00 | Education
Bullies use mobile phone threats
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