Leicester school text scheme aims to fight bullying

Media captionA new text-alert system aims to tackle bullying in Leicester's schools

A text-based anti-bullying system in Leicester is being rolled out to schools across the city.

The Text Someone service was developed in the county along with a web-based bully reporting system.

Pupils or parents are able to send a text any time of the day or night which will be picked up by their school.

A council spokesman said the technology gives another option to pupils who are not willing to speak face-to-face about bullying.

Increase in bullying

Leicester pupil Anna Butler, who was bullied years ago, said she thought the text service would help others speak out.

"It can affect your schoolwork, your relationship with your family at home, and often the bullies say that if you tell anyone it will get worse," she said.

"But I think it is the opposite, if you tell someone it can only get better."

Alison Merrills, principal of Sir Jonathan North College, said: "I think the important thing is having as many different ways as possible that young people can use."

The text must start with the school's code number which is available on the council's website under anti-bullying guidance.

The children's charity Childline said it had seen an increase in reports of bullying in the East Midlands.

A spokesman said 73 children mentioned self-harm and 68 mentioned suicide during bullying counselling sessions in Nottingham in the past year.

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