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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 15:24 GMT
Bullies use mobile phone threats
Bulllying
Pupils have received threats of attack
Mobile phones have become the latest weapon of the school bully, with victims receiving abusive and threatening text messages.

Bullying Online, an internet site which offers confidential advice to victims and their parents using e-mail, says that there has been a spate of incidents involving mobile phone text messages.

Pupils have received text messages from bullies threatening to "kill" them and repeated messages with insults and abusive language.

Pupils can be scared to leave school or go into the playground, because they have received messages saying that bullies are going to be waiting for them.

'Distressed'

"Many young people were given mobile phones this Christmas - including some bullies and their victims - and now the phones are being used for a new form of bullying," said Liz Carnell, founder of Bullying Online.

Pupils contacting Bullying Online have been "very distressed" by the phone harrassment, and have been advised to tell their parents, school authorities and to contact the police.

As well as receiving threats from other identified pupils, there have been cases of pupils being harrassed anonymously or by people not known to the victim.

Victims are told that the police and phone companies can help to track the culprits.

Liz Carnell says that bullying victims and their families all too often receive an inadequate response from school authorities, and that Bullying Online is there to offer "help when there seems nowhere else to turn".

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See also:

07 Jan 00 |  Education
Father's fears for bullied daughter
21 Jan 00 |  Education
School for bullying victims
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