BULLY BRITAIN; -31,000 children phone for help - a rise of 42% -More than a quarter feel their teachers don't take fears seriously.Byline: JUSTINE SMITH
THE number of desperate children calling ChildLine about bullying has soared 42 per cent in the past year.
Figures released today show that more than 31,000 victims turned to the charity's 24-hour helpline helpline
a telephone line set aside for callers to contact an organization for help with a problem
helpline n → teléfono de asistencia al público
in the 12 months to March - up from 21,000 the year before.
More than 25 per cent had talked to teachers first, but felt their fears were not being taken seriously.
Twenty-seven per cent were under 12 and 33 per cent aged 12 to 15. One 11-year-old boy told how he was threatened with a knife as he hid from a gang in his school changing rooms.
A girl of 14 told a ChildLine counsellor she was so desperate for someone to notice her suffering she took an overdose. Between 16 and 20 children under 16 are thought to commit suicide Verb 1. commit suicide - kill oneself; "the terminally ill patient committed suicide"
kill - cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly; "This man killed several people when he tried to rob a bank"; "The farmer killed a pig for the holidays" every year because of bullying.
Last year Lincolnshire schoolboy Luke Walmsley, 14, was stabbed to death in a school corridor by a boy who had been warned several times about bullying.
And earlier this year two children from the same Northumberland school killed themselves two weeks apart after being tormented.
Esther Rantzen Esther Louise Rantzen CBE (born on 22 May 1940, chairwoman of ChildLine and president of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: "We have had more calls year on year about bullying but this is the biggest in our 18-year history. ) is an English journalist and television presenter who is best known for her long stint in That's Life!
"We are especially worried about the increasing levels of violence, which is reflected in the terrible stories we hear in the news.
"But all bullying wrecks lives, whether it is psychological intimidation or physical attacks."
The charity fears bullies using email and mobile phones can now terrorise Verb 1. terrorise - coerce by violence or with threats
coerce, force, hale, pressure, squeeze - to cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means :"She forced him to take a job in the city"; "He squeezed her for victims in their homes.
It heard from one terrified ter·ri·fy
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.
2. To menace or threaten; intimidate. girl who said that every time she turned her phone on there would be a text threatening to kill her.
Esther, left, said: "Now children have mobiles, they can be bullied in the privacy of their own bedrooms. There is nowhere for them to hide." She said many schools had taken steps to protect children and tackle culprits, but far more could be done.
She said: "It doesn't matter whether it is a sprawling comprehensive in a deprived city centre or a church school in the leafy suburbs. Bullying will flourish if it is not tackled properly.
"Yet there are so many simple things schools can do to tackle it, such as allowing children to post their concerns anonymously.
"Times have changed since the days when victims were told it was just part of growing up.
CHILDREN are being driven to suicide by bullies. It is absolutely tragic that some see that as the only way to escape their tormentors."
Minister for Education Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis (born 4 March 1967, Prestwich, Bury) is a politician in the United Kingdom. He is the member of Parliament for Bury South, and is a member of the Labour Party. He was first elected in the 1997 general election. announced a crackdown on bullies last year, admitting he had been subjected to two years of intimidation at school.
He set up nine regional Make a Difference conferences where education chiefs and teachers could discuss experiences and share successful strategies.
Esther said: "The government has put money behind its commitment and we applaud its Zero Tolerance policy zero tolerance policy Substance abuse A stance taken by US government, that any type of drug abuse is punishable by incarceration. See Correctional facility, War on Drugs. .
"But too many children are not being listened to, and we are hearing from more of them every year."
The figures were released at the launch of the ChildLine Foundation which aims to raise an extra pounds 1million a year so more calls can be answered.
THE helpline receives 2,300 calls a day on a range of issues but funding shortages mean 600 are greeted by a message asking them to call back.
Esther said: "When a child is feeling frightened or vulnerable that can only add to their feeling of loneliness. We have to raise this money because we have to answer every call first time.
"It is such a big step for them to make that call that many may never call back. We would say keep trying. You will get through."
nowadays don't have anywhere
TORMENTED: Bullies can ruin children's lives. Picture posed by models; DEAD: Schoolboy Luke, 14