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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Court hears school bullying claim
The parents of a Cumbria teenager say they kept her off school for almost three months because she was being bullied.

The parents of the 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made the claim when they appeared in court accused of failing to send the youngster to school.

Magistrates in Whitehaven were told girl, who comes from Workington, was afraid of bullies at her school.

The couple also alleged that other pupils had called at their home threatening to harm their daughter if she went to school.

In court they admitted failing to send the girl to school between 28 March and 18 June.

Mary Claydon, for Cumbria Education Authority, said it was the first case in Whitehaven magistrates court under the Education Act, where parents face jail for knowingly allowing their child to miss lessons.

Magistrates agreed to adjourn the case until 29 October, so that a study could be carried out on the girl's school.

Efforts would also be made to create a special care programme at the school to protect the child.

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