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  I'm bullied because I like fantasy books
Updated 30 May 2002, 09.19

Claire's had to cope with bullying so has advice on ways to deal with it.

"I get bullied at school because I'm clever, and I'm not cool.

I enjoy fantasy and science fiction books, I'm good at everything except PE.

  Click here for our anti-bullying guide

I don't mean to boast, but it's why they pick on me.

I wear flares, I go to the same shops, I do almost everything they do.

But just because I know what reading is, and I enjoy maths, they ruin my life.

My teachers know about this. A few weeks ago, my deputy head of year saw me crying.

She asked me what was wrong, I told her, and my form teacher spoke to the girls.

It's not as bad now, but it still happens.

I'm never physically bullied, and I'm glad of it. It's those little words behind your back, people running away and laughing at you, totally ignoring you.

Making fun

I've never had a boyfriend - yet another reason to make fun of me.

I've read Lord of the Rings many times - let's make fun of Claire. I play classical guitar - now what cool person does that?

I've learnt to ignore it, though it still hurts. My advice to anyone in the same situation is to ignore them, no matter how much it hurts you.

Talk to someone

Tell someone right away - tell your mum if you're too embarrassed to go to a teacher - and hang around with other people.

Always be perfectly polite and nice to those bullying you - it really gets to them. When I'm with people and I offer them chocolate, I never miss out the girls just because they don't like me.

Just because they hate me is no reason to hate them - at least in public."

Claire, 13, South Wales

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