He’s been sub­jected to phys­i­cal and ver­bal abuse as well as ra­cial prej­u­dice but Steve Kemlo won’t be de­terred... I’LL KEEP ON RIS­ING ABOVE THE BUL­LY­ING

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Brave Teen - Ian Bunt­ing

three years at St An­drew’s High Steve has been bul­lied through­out his

A brave Coat­bridge school­boy has vowed to beat the bul­lies who have made his life hell over the past three years.

Dur­ing his dif­fi­cult time as a pupil at St An­drew’s High, Steve Kemlo has been sub­jected to re­lent­less “ver­bal and phys­i­cal abuse, ra­cial prej­u­dice and gen­eral iso­la­tion from his peers” – and was even knocked un­con­scious dur­ing one shock­ing at­tack.

The most re­cent trou­bling in­ci­dent saw the 15-year-old break down in tears in class be­fore be­ing driven home by a teacher after he was “punched in the face” by a boy just be­fore the re­cent Oc­to­ber hol­i­day.

De­spite the on­go­ing bul­ly­ing – which Steve says has “es­ca­lated” since the start of his time in fourth year in Au­gust – the ta­lented stu­dent is thriv­ing with his class work and cap­tained the school’s bad­minton team to the top prize at the North La­nark­shire schools’ bad­minton league com­pe­ti­tion back in May.

But Steve – who hasn’t missed a day at school in two years – and his fam­ily are con­cerned about the im­pact the added stress he is be­ing put un­der could have on his stud­ies dur­ing this im­por­tant school year.

Steve told the Ad­ver­tiser: “It has been a very up and down time for me.

“Some­times the kids at school trick me into think­ing they are be­ing kind and then hit me or say some­thing bad.

“Just be­fore the Oc­to­ber hol­i­day, we were play­ing dodge­ball and some­one on the op­pos­ing team came over and said ‘well done’, but when I went for a high-five he punched me on the face.

“There have been times when the bul­lies have asked me for money and spat on me.

“The bul­ly­ing is al­ways on my mind and though I just get on with my work, it doesn’t make it easy for me to con­cen­trate.”

Steve’s step­fa­ther John, 38, re­vealed the bul­ly­ing “started off small” but es­ca­lated into phys­i­cal abuse.

He said: “Over the past three years, Steve has suf­fered petty theft, ver­bal and phys­i­cal abuse, ra­cial prej­u­dice and gen­eral iso­la­tion from his peers.

“He was once punched un­con­scious walk­ing home from school and, to­wards the end of Steve’s time in third year, I re­ceived a prank call dur­ing a school day while I was at work from a fel­low pupil try­ing to im­per­son­ate some­one from the school of­fice, falsely claim­ing Steve had been in­volved in a fight.

“De­spite con­tin­ual im­prove­ment across the board in all of his cho­sen school sub­jects a n d re­ceiv­ing noth­ing but praise from his teach­ers, it has been a tough start to fourth year for Steve. “Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent be­fore the Oc­to­ber hol­i­day, he had to be driven home in a teacher’s car be­cause he didn’t feel safe. “That was the sec­ond se­ri­ous in­ci­dent of bul­ly­ing since Au­gust; the first in­volved his uni­form and shoes be­ing soaked in wa­ter and binned, and he later had to walk home wear­ing them.” John added: “I had a heartt o - h e a r t wi t h the deputy head teacher ear­lier this year fol­low­ing a so­cial me­dia in­ci­dent and said that if this


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