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Last Updated: Saturday April 25 2009 10:44 GMT

Charity backs bullied Tom Daley

Tom Daley

Charity Beatbullying has praised top diver Tom Daley for talking about his problems with bullies at school.

The bullying has got so bad at Tom's school that he's thinking about finding a new one and needed to take some extra days off before Easter.

Beatbullying told Newsround: "Young people should be seeing Tom as an inspiration and as a great role model."

They added that it's not right that Tom is missing lessons, as the bullies should be the ones being punished.

Tom's school in Plymouth says it's doing all it can to stop the bullies.

Olympic star Tom Daley on being bullied

Beatbullying added: "If ANY young people are being badly bullied then it's the bullies that should be disciplined, not the person being bullied.

"Being taken out of school makes things worse, takes you away from your friends and leaves you isolated and more unhappy.

Talented and clever

"If you're talented and clever these days, it seems that often you are targeted by bullies who are jealous or envious of your success.

"Beatbullying has spoken to lots of young people who are dumbing downto avoid being bullied, that means pretending not to be as clever as they really are, just so they are not bullied.

Beating the bullies
Bullying graphic

"We should be celebrating our differences and sharing in our successes, not giving each other a hard time.

"We hope Tom will be alright - obviously his family are looking after him well and we look forward to him winning a gold medal in 2012."

Speaking earlier in the week Tom said: "After the Olympics it went mad... everyone that you walk past has a little dig at you.

"When I was annoyed at school I started to get annoyed at diving. I'm much happier now I can concentrate on diving."