A WORRIED couple have pulled their daughter out of school because she is being bullied.
Stuart and Lisa Hill say that they will not allow 12-year-old Kirsty to return to Moorhead High until they have a guarantee the problem has been dealt with.
Kirsty, of Lister Street, Accrington, told the Observer she had been bullied and threatened since she started Year 8 in September.
She said the bullies had sent her abusive letters, called her names, followed her around school and, on one occasion, hit her on the head with a bottle.
After the latest incident last Thursday, when the bullies demanded she brought in money for them, her parents took her out of school.
Mrs Hill said: "Kirsty is at the stage now when she's coming home in tears and saying she's had enough of school.
"I contacted the school and they wanted Kirsty to come in, but she didn't want to because she's scared. I'm worried because she's getting behind in her education. Her teacher said her work is fine but it's going to set her back."
Mrs Hill added that, since September, she had been through four appeals to Lancashire County Council's education department in a bid to get Kirsty moved to Rhyddings High, but they were all rejected.
She said: "They said bullying goes on in every school and Rhyddings would be too far for Kirsty to travel, but it is the same distance from our house to Moorhead.
"If a child is being bullied, it should be dealt with straight away. You hear all these stories about children who have been bullied and have committed suicide - we're lucky Kirsty hasn't done anything like that.
"I'm not happy with the response we're getting. We're keeping Kirsty off school until it is sorted."
Mr Andrew Bateman, headteacher at Moorhead, said: "We have got robust procedures in school to deal with reported incidents of bullying.
"Kirsty has reported incidents occurring between her and some other pupils, who all used to be friends, and staff have taken action. But at present, Mrs Hill is refusing to get Kirsty into school to discuss the issue with us and the pupils concerned."
A spokesperson for the local education authority, Lanc-ashire County Council, said the appeals had been rejected as Kirsty lived in a priority area for Moorhead.
She added: "Both the LEA and the school take allegations of bullying extremely seriously, and the school is confident that any allegations of bullying are fully investigated.
"The recent Ofsted inspection did not find any evidence of bullying and the school's strong and effective pastoral system was noted, as were parents' positive views about the support and advice their children received."