Cyber-bullies apologise as campaign is launched

The father of a 12-year-old cyber-bullying victim has thanked her former tormentors for apologising.

Scott Freeman said his daughter Poppy received messages of support after her case was highlighted in The Argus and on television news.

Poppy was forced to leave Hove Park School, then Cardinal Newman School, after a minor falling-out led to death threats being posted on social networking website Facebook.

Mr Freeman said Hove Park played a recording of the television news to its pupils on Friday, which led to several messages of support.

He said: “Poppy has received loads of messages saying ‘I’m here if you need me’.

“Poppy is happy because people have realised. I think she has realised she was never to blame and is not the only one.”

Poppy said cyber-bullies caught up with her after she changed school.

She said: “I started writing notes about how I wanted to kill myself. I felt so horrible and alone.”

Mr Freeman is setting up a charity, Cybersmile, pressing the Government to outlaw cyber-bullying and helping people with concerns.

He said he was grateful for people’s reactions to his daughter’s experiences.

He said: “I just want to thank them for making Poppy feel better.

"As a parent, I feel really grateful for the coverage and thankful for the children for apologising.”

Hove Park headteacher, Derek Trimmer, said he could not confirm what the school had done yesterday.

In our report yesterday he said the school takes cyber-bullying “extremely seriously.”

Cardinal Newman head, Dr James Kilmartin, said his school takes a “proactive approach” to the issue.

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