Teenagers take legal action over bullies

TWO more Scottish teenagers have taken legal action against school bullies, confirming fears of a flood of cases.

A second pupil at Blairgowrie High School, which has earned the nickname Battlefield High, won an interim interdict on Friday, forbidding two 15-year-old pupils from further verbal or physical assault. In Dundee, a 15-year-old girl has taken legal action successfully against two pupils who she claims have subjected her to months of bullying.

Last week, Andrew Mellor, Scotland’s leading expert in bullying, said the courts could soon be swamped by cases brought by victims’ families.

Mr Mellor, the manager of the Scottish Executive’s Anti-Bullying Network, said he hoped the threat of legal action would act as a wake-up call to schools and encourage them to confront the problem.

He said: "Parents and children have the right to go to court, but it should be the last resort."

Blairgowrie High School hit the headlines earlier this month when Jennifer Souter,17, won a ground-breaking court order against school bullies. Last week another pupil won a court order banning fellow pupils from bullying her. The two were among the group of four girls who were accused of bullying Jennifer Souter.

In Dundee, a girl has been awarded an interim interdict against two fellow pupils. She claims the girls and their families subjected her to months of harrassment, which culminated in a confrontation with 20 girls, in which she was injured. Four pupils were charged after the alleged incident and will appear before the Children’s Panel in Dundee today.

An education department spokesman said: "Dundee City Council takes the issue of bullying very seriously. There are anti-bullying policies and individual strategies in place in every school which encourage the victims to speak out."