In just over a year, 20 Borders school pupils have been forced to move schools because of bullying, John Lamont MSP has found.
In addition, between the end of 2011 and early this year, almost 400 school pupils in the region have requested to move schools, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.
The response to Mr Lamont’s question from the council showed that 20 pupils moved due to concerns over bullying, including one pupil who was bullied in a sexual manner and another who was driven to self-harm.
John Lamont said: “It is incredibly sad to hear that within the space of a year so many children felt like they had to move to a different school to avoid bullying issues.
“No child deserves to be bullied, and to move school because of it will undoubtedly have an effect on each child’s education.
“It can also have a profound effect on their lives, leaving a child feeling threatened, left out and hurt. It is never an acceptable form of behaviour, and I know that the council and every school in the Scottish Borders has a strict no-tolerance approach to bullying.”
Mr Lamont added: “They work tirelessly to provide the safest and most positive learning environment possible, and their anti-bullying policy aims to intervene wherever there is a possible case of bullying occurring.
“However, these statistics show that no matter how hard you try, some cases of bullying will still occur.
“That is why it is important for children to speak up as soon as possible if they are being bullied. Too many young people keep it to themselves rather than seeking help, and by contacting a teacher, parent or guidance service they can start to receive help before the need to move school.”