A BRAVE North Ayrshire teenager has opened up about her experiences with bullying and why she feels that schools need to do more to protect victims.

And the youngster, who we are choosing not to name to protect her identity, spoke of the relentless abuse, self-harming and her challenges at school.

The ordeal has been ongoing for around 18 months and has seen the girl physically and verbally abused by a large group of fellow pupils at a school in North Ayrshire.

We spoke with the courageous teen and her mum about how they have dealt with the issues thrown their way and the pair spoke through tears about how let down they feel.

The schoolgirl explained: “I used to be pals with this group of boys and we had all been close but me and other girls stopped hanging about with them and they turned pure nasty. This was around the start of third year.

“There was once I came home crying because a boy put milk over me – that was the first incident. Last year I came home again and I was crying because when I was crossing the park they put eggs over my head.”

These issues were the start. Her mum contacted the school to deal with it and they told her that ‘boys would be boys’ and that they had to accept that they were just being silly.

The teenager felt let down and said: “I felt like the school weren’t really caring and they were just trying to get me back to school and I said I don’t feel comfortable going back into classes so I swapped subjects.

“I took every subject that I hated so I wasn’t in any of their classes. I’ve chosen subjects I don’t like and don’t understand because I don’t want to be in classes with any of them.”

Things escalated and the victim decided that self-harming was a solution to the abuse she had been taking.

Her mum explained: “When she went back in to school before Easter she was sent to the base and given colouring in to do.

She went in to the canteen at break time and they started to shout and swear and throw things at her. She came home and that is when she was in a bit of a state and self-harmed.

“The school didn’t even contact me and I gave them up until half past one to contact me. They said ‘it really isn’t our responsibility to make sure they are in the school’- so they can just walk out of school and nobody knows?

“I told the school that her safety is my priority as she has went home twice and self-harmed and I am not putting her in that situation and the teacher said it was important that she sat exams but I said ‘Which part do you not understand? She doesn’t feel ready for the exams.’”

The girl said she felt let down by the school and said that they even passed on the information about her self harming to others when she had spoken about it in confidence to just the school and her family.

Her mum spoke of her fear following the self-harming and how it could have been a lot worse, she said she had sent a text message saying she wouldn’t be meeting her sister as it was time for her ‘to be with her papa’.

Her mum said: “We might not have got here on time. After all that pleading to get her to go to school, she goes for one day and that happens.”

The youngster had only just returned to school and bravely explained why it had got to that point, she said: “It was everything and it has happened for so long and to see them all do it again I was just back to square one and thought there was no point.”

The family are now looking at options beyond school with college a possibility but the youngster is going to miss out on crucial exams because of what they see is a real failure from those at the school in question.

Her mum added: “I feel as if I have been hitting my head off a brick wall. I just feel it is the same scenario every time we go.

“Are the council scared to step up or are they protecting bullies? They like to talk a good game about the anti-bullying policy.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “While we would not comment on individual cases, we can assure all parents/carers that all incidents of bullying are treated extremely seriously. We would urge any parent/carer to speak directly with the school if they have any concerns.

“Whenever there is an allegation of bullying behaviour, our schools respond to each case individually. Please be assured that schools offer robust support to the victims of bullying.

“If any pupil feels they are struggling at exam time we also have a range of help for them including one-to-one tuition with teachers and supported study sessions. “

The spokesperson added: “North Ayrshire Council respects, supports and recognises the national approach to anti bullying as set out in the Respect for All guidance. Last year we worked with pupils, parents and staff to create our new anti-bullying policy, “Bullying: It’s Never Acceptable”.

“The policy aims to build capacity, resilience and skills in children and young people, and all those who play a role in their lives, to prevent and deal with bullying.”