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Insure kids against bullies.

Byline: LYNN McPHERSON

TEACHERS' leaders are backing plans to let parents insure their children against school bullies.

The insurance is available in France, where there were 30,000 cases of bullying last year.

French firms offer policies covering everything from stolen books to ripped designer clothing.

Last night, a teaching union called for a pilot insurance scheme here.

Tino Ferri, Scottish general secretary for the NASWUT, said: "It's regrettable they've found things bad enough to set up this scheme in France but, if it works, then why not? It should be investigated."

All parents of French schoolchildren pay a compulsory student insurance premium that starts at pounds 5 a year to cover accidents.

The bully insurance is an optional top-up policy covering theft or deliberate damage.

Insurers will also pay out for medical treatment if a child is injured by bullies at school or on the way there.

The Sunday Mail recently revealed that parents are suing schools for failing to protect their children.

In June, Nicola Raphael, 15, killed herself after being picked on by bullies at Lenzie Academy because she dressed as a Goth. Her mum Rhona has vowed to sue the school.

And last week we told how the family of 13-year-old Natalie King, are to sue Dyce Academy, in Aberdeen, after accusing staff of failing to protect her from bullies.

The Scottish Executive is so worried about classroom violence that it has funded Childline Scotland's bullying helpline.

Research suggests up to 50 per cent of children have admitted to being bullied and 12 a year are thought to take their lives.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 7, 2001
Words:265
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