Pupils can text to report the school bully

PUBLISHED: 17:53 19 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 May 2010

Natalie Chapman with her bully text leaflets with fellow students, police community support officer Debbie Charman, Gordano School headteacher Graham Silverthorne and Portishead police sergeant Terry Scoble.

Natalie Chapman with her bully text leaflets with fellow students, police community support officer Debbie Charman, Gordano School headteacher Graham Silverthorne and Portishead police sergeant Terry Scoble.

A NEW telephone hotline to report bullying at a school has been launched in Portishead. The Text the Bully scheme was officially switched on at Gordano School on Thursday. The scheme encourages students to report cases of bullying anonymously by texting t

A NEW telephone hotline to report bullying at a school has been launched in Portishead.The Text the Bully scheme was officially switched on at Gordano School on Thursday.The scheme encourages students to report cases of bullying anonymously by texting their message to a special bully line - a mobile phone donated to the school by Argos stores in Wyndham Way.The project is the brainchild of sixth form student Natalie Chapman.Earlier this year Natalie, aged 18, witnessed some younger students at the school being bullied.After she managed to stop the initial abuse the students were getting, she drove the victims home.Whilst talking to them she encouraged them to speak to someone about the bullying they had experienced.They had not wanted to tell anyone and were upset.They were also distressed as they did not feel they could talk to anyone about the problem.Natalie wanted to do something to help the younger students and contacted PCSO Debbie Charman who recalled a scheme in which students suffering at the hands of bullies could text their concerns anonymously.Natalie said: "The service is for students to report bullying anonymously if they lack confidence to report it in person."It also offers an opportunity of a follow up service for victims if they require it."A team of sixth form students have been trained to deal with incoming texts from concerned pupils.PCSO Charman added: "The aim is to publicise the new line now for the new term which starts in September."Posters have been produced which are around the school promoting the initiative and stickers with details of the scheme have been given to each student to put in their journals."Most youngsters have mobile phones and are familiar and comfortable with text messaging and we felt that this was a good method of communication at what can be a traumatic and worrying time for individuals.

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