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Guardian angels combat bullies.

Byline: Joanna Desira

A team of guardian angels has been recruited at a Tees Valley school in a bid to stamp out bullying.

Eastbourne School in Darlington has adopted the unique scheme in the latest step of its anti-bullying campaign.

Pupils have volunteered to become guardian angels, keeping an eye out for any sign of bullying and reporting it.

They have been trained by Darlington Youth Service and their identities are kept secret.

A special website has also been set up to allow pupils to post any incidents of bullying and all the messages are checked out by the guardian angels.

Guardian angels is the second anti-bullying scheme to be set up at the school following secret friends which saw pupils befriend youngsters who were victims of bullying.

Geof Sewell, deputy head of Eastbourne School, said secret friends had been successful in getting rid of physical bullying.

"We are one of the very few schools in the country that has got no physical bullying but we have still found brow-beating and squabbling and we needed some way of keeping an eye on the issue.

"The children have been asked to keep an eye out for brow-beating, name calling or whatever and at the same time we have set up an intranet website through the Durham Police server so the messages are vetted.

"We pick up messages every day and ask the guardian angels to check them out.

"The guardian angels don't have names they have numbers which they write on their reports which they place under my door.

"We've been able to follow up some really unpleasant name calling."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 18, 2004
Words:269
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