Bullying at school: should parents go to the police

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‘Parents whose children are being bullied should go to the police if the school does not intervene’

Parents whose children are being bullied should go to the police if the school does not intervene, Jodie Marsh, an ambassador for the Princess Diana anti-bulling charity, has said.

Speaking at The Sunday Times Festival of Education, at Wellington College in Berkshire, the former glamour model warned that schools must do more to tackle the scourge of bullying.

Where action was not being taken, parents should bypass the school and go to the police, she advised.

“If the school is not going to help you — and I’ve heard this time and time again that schools are not doing anything — you have got to remember that many of the things surrounding bullying are illegal,” said the 35-year-old.

“If your child is being physically bullied, punched or kicked, that is assault. If it is verbal or online bullying, that is harassment, malicious communications and misuse of computers and technology. So if your school is not doing anything, you can just take it to the police. Don’t back down, do not give in. Fight it until somebody helps you.”

The anti-bullying campaigner also claimed that levels of bullying in British schools were so bad that the only thing preventing an American-style school shooting spree was tighter firearms control.

Research in the US revealed that “70% of school shootings were down to bullying. The only reason we don’t have that here is we can’t access guns,” she said.

Marsh’s own life had been blighted by school bullies. Their constant criticism of her appearance influenced her decision to become a model to “prove she wasn’t ugly”, deflecting the A-grade student off her initial ambition of becoming a vet or a lawyer.

She said there were currently an estimated 16,000 children out of school in England because of fear of bullies.