BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Former pupils sue over bullying claims
Jamie Bright and Caroline Newby
Jamie Bright and Caroline Newby are claiming damages
Two former County Durham pupils who say they suffered bullying at school have launched a legal challenge to recover 100,000 in damages.

Caroline Newby and Jamie Bright, both 20, were pupils at Shotton Hall secondary school in Peterlee and are seeking 50,000 each from Durham County Council and school governors.

Both say they suffered psychological damage because of alleged bullying and that not enough was done to help them.

Durham County Council and the school governors deny the claims.

Shotton Hall school
School governors deny the bullying claims

At a hearing at Teesside County Court Miss Newby said a teacher was powerless to stop her tormentors.

She alleged she was regularly spat at, pushed and called names at the school.

Miss Newby said most abuse by fellow pupils was verbal, but she was also tripped and pushed over, both in and out of school.

During one lesson, she said other girls moved away from her when she sat down, and started name-calling in front of a female teacher.

Miss Newby wept, saying: "She tried to stop it but they wouldn't, they just kept on going."

Her father, Clive Newby, told the court he visited his daughter's head of year to complain about the bullying, but said nothing was done.

Mr Newby told the hearing: "He told her to go back to the classroom and stop being silly."


I thought they handled the bullying very poorly from day one

Clive Newby

Mr Newby said his daughter had been bullied from late 1994 when she was in her second year at the school.

Her ordeal lasted two years and included her being admitted to hospital with stress-related stomach pains, the court heard.

She was taken out of regular lessons and taught on her own in the school's resource centre before she attended a special educational day centre in Middlesbrough.

'Not standard'

Mr Newby said: "I thought they handled the bullying very poorly from day one. It happened from 1994 to 1996.

"To take that long to sort something out was not up to standard, I would think."

Ruth Trippier, defending, disputed that the school had been told about Miss Newby's problems, saying the authorities were only told in May 1995.

She said the school had tried different solutions to Miss Newby's problems and that her parents had agreed they had been successful.

The hearing was told how head teacher Peter Clark, who has now retired from the 1,200 pupil school, invited parents to a meeting about bullying.

'Bullying problem'

Ms Trippier told Mr Newby: "You say that Mr Clark denied that bullying existed.

"Mr Clark accepted that Caroline had been bullied and accepted that Jamie Bright had been bullied.

"The school did not have a bullying problem in general. In other words it was not a widespread problem."

Mr Newby replied: "It is a problem in school when your daughter is involved."

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday.

See also:

24 Jan 02 | UK Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes