Comment: We must stay vigilant to beat bullying

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no parent will read today’s story about Lewis Calvert without being moved by his plight at the hands of school bullies – and being impressed by his bravery in facing up to it.

And no-one with young children will read it without thinking at least fleetingly of their own child and the risk of something like this happening to them.

Bullying happens in all walks of life, so it is no surprise at all that it is an ever-present issue in our schools.

There is a lot of good work being done in schools across the city to tackle the problem, including systems where pupils can report problems being faced by themselves or a friend anonymously.

The ongoing anti-bullying campaign in the city’s schools does help create an environment where it is easier for children experiencing problems to come forward.

But it is never an easy thing for children to talk about or a simple thing for teachers to tackle.

Children can still go through terrible ordeals – and no-one should underestimate the impact which being bullied can have on a child’s well-being and confidence, even in schools with dedicated, well-trained and caring teachers.

Lewis’s parents thought hard before deciding that they should take the brave step of speaking about what he is going through.

They did it because they want people to know what can still go on in our schools despite their best efforts and how damaging that can be for the children involved.

They hope they can help others to find the courage to take a stand themselves should they find themselves in a similar situation.

We should all take note of their message because it is an important one.

When it comes to bullying, everyone involved in caring for children – teachers, parents and friends – needs to stay vigilant. And we all need to redouble our efforts. It is the least we can do in response to Lewis’s courage.