Grafton schoolboy endures bullying

IT HAS taken all Peter’s strength not to punch his nemesis in the face and be done with it.

He has endured months of snide remarks, outright insults, homophobic put-downs, irritating hair-pulling and confrontational taunts at school and in open public.

But Peter, not his real name, said he didn’t believe in violence.

“It solves nothing,” said the 16-year-old pacifist, who added it may even lead to him getting into some kind of trouble.

Some of Peter’s complaints were acted upon by his school and his tormentor was suspended. But within weeks of the boy returning to school his menacing behaviour continued.

But Peter’s nightmare didn’t end at the school bell; he was harassed in public streets and shopping centres, and even on his own computer when the bully started a war of words one night.

The tormentor went into great detail about exactly how he would assault and kill Peter.

Peter logged off, printed out the exchange and showed his father who took the threatening conversation to the police in Grafton.

Peter said the police claimed they were helpless to act because the other youth was under 18 and could not be brought before the courts unless a serious assault had taken place.

Despite the fact that an obvious verbal assault occurred and Peter was now paranoid about being side-swiped every time he was in public, the best police could do was offer to visit the bully and issue a warning.

Acting upon independent legal advice, Peter’s father applied for an apprehended violence order through Grafton Local Court.

Peter doesn’t want details of the ‘cyber-bullying’ made public because his aim in going to the media, he said, was not to shame and ridicule his tormentor but to raise awareness about the problem of bullying in our schoolyards and beyond, especially in light of the tragic stabbing death of a 12-year-old boy in a Queensland school this week.

News reports indicated the alleged offender might have been the victim of bullying.

Peter’s ordeal is indicative of the type of abuse children across the country are experiencing every day.

Much of the schoolyard bullying, he said, went un-reported and systems to help the victims of bullying were mostly inadequate.

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