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BULLIED SCHOOLGIRL GETS 'BODYGUARD'

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A 13-year girl at a Nottingham comprehensive school has been given a full-time 'bodyguard' after enduring a year of...
A 13-year girl at a Nottingham comprehensive school has been given a full-time 'bodyguard' after enduring a year of bullying by a gang of fellow pupils, reports The Guardian (p5).

Amie Salmon is able to call on her form teacher to act as her personal bodyguard at any time and has to be accompanied through most school lessons and during lunch breaks. She has also attended her form teacher's class instead of her normal one to avoid contact with the bullies.

But her parents, who want the bullies to be suspended, have criticised the school's decision to take Amie out of normal classes as increasing the victimisation of their daughter.

The head teacher, Tim Moralee, defended his decision not to suspend the bullies, saying: 'It doesn't solve bullying. In Amie's case we are increasing the protected time and decreasing the unprotected time. It can make her appear to be the one who is being punished, which is unjust, but it is a way of helping victims, when often they feel unhappy about attending school.'

He added that the measures were temporary and that the bullies were being monitored. The school is also introducing a new bullying reporting system and instigating staff training on the problem.

A spokeswoman for the department for education and employment said schools were offered guidance, adding: 'It's up to individual schools and local education authorities as to how they implement that guidance.'

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