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Brighton schoolgirl hounded by internet bullies
A 12-year-old girl is being hounded by internet bullies who have threatened to kill her.
The victim’s worried mother told The Argus the hate campaign started on social networking site Facebook last year.
She claims every time her daughter Claire (not her real name) posts a picture of herself online, dozens of bullies post comments telling the young girl she is ugly, with many urging the young girl to kill herself.
The victim’s mother said: “It just seems to get worse and worse.
“They were telling her to go and get plastic surgery and that she should put a plastic bag over her head until she was dead.
“They intimidate her and make her feel very alone. The spark in her eyes has gone and all I can see now is sadness.”
Claire’s mother said many of the online bullies had never even met her daughter – and even claimed many are adults.
She said: “Most of the people who abuse her are just random people who join in with the crowd.
“One person told her they were going to break her arms and legs and push her in front of a bus.
“She calls me from school at lunchtime and breaktime, crying her eyes out.
“It’s so upsetting because I’m watching a bright, bubbly, free-spirited little girl turning into a recluse.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to not be able to protect your child from harm.”
While The Argus was interviewing Claire’s mother she received a text from her daughter, who was at a youth group, saying: “Please mummy, come and get me.”
Claire’s mother said her child’s school in Brighton had promised to crack down on the bullies but she felt her claims were “falling on deaf ears”.
She said: “I think schools need to be made aware of the damage cyber-bullying can do and what it does to people so they take it more seriously.”
In February Sussex Police revealed to The Argus that none of its officers is dedicated to pursuing cyber-bullies because they are “notoriously difficult” to track down.
A police spokeswoman also revealed the force has no policy on Facebook abuse despite the site being the most popular social network in the world.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Concerns about bullying at any of our schools should be reported to the school in the first instance, whatever form it takes.
“Our schools all take issues around bullying very seriously, and we are confident that they do their best to take effective action on any reports they receive of bullying issues relating to their pupils.”
Anyone concerned about cyber-bullying should call the CyberSmile helpline on 08456887277.