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집단따돌림 보상금

Author
주영한국교육원
Date
21:16 22 Feb 2006
Views
1721
집단따돌림 받던 학생 어른된 후 합의금 받아

단지 키가 크다는 이유만으로 학급에서 집단따돌림을 당하던 학생이 성인이 된 후 2만 파운드의 합의금을 교육청으로부터 받게 되었다.
Sophie Amor(23)는 유난히 큰 키로 인해 학교에 입학하는 순간부터 놀림감이 되어야 했다. 조롱과 놀림은 물론 눈 주변이 찢어지는 등 폭행까지 당했던 Sophie는 우울증과 자살충동에 시달렸고 9살이 되던 해에는 직접 자살을 시도하기도 했다. Sophie의 엄마는 학교 측에 수십 차례 대책을 요구했으나 학교의 반응은 냉담했다고 설명했다. 7년 동안의 집단따돌림으로 인해 학교를 졸업한 뒤에도 12년 이상 고통에 시달려 자신감을 상실했고, 따돌림의 공포로 인해 일자리도 구하기 힘든 상태여서 3년 전 교육청에 보상금을 청구했다.
교육청은 합의금으로 2만 파운드를 지불한다고 발표했으나 학교 내의 따돌림에 대해서는 전혀 책임이 없다는 입장을 밝혔다.
교육청이 집단따돌림을 당한 학생에게 보상금을 지불한 것은 영국 내 최초의 사례이다.

2월 21일자 타임즈


원문

£20,000 for woman who was bullied as a pupil
By Simon de Bruxelles


A WOMAN who said that she was bullied at primary school more than ten years ago has won an out-of-court settlement of £20,000 from her education authority, Torfaen County Borough Council in Wales.
Sophie Amor, 23, said that she had suffered depression and even attempted suicide because the school failed to take any action, despite repeated complaints by her mother.

Three years ago she began a claim for compensation which was settled this week by the local authority’s insurers.

Lawyers representing the Amor family believe that it is the first time that anyone in Britain has won a payout for school bullying.

Miss Amor said yesterday that the bullying, which lasted for seven years, ruined her life. She was a pupil at St Peter’s Church in Wales School in Blaenavon, Gwent, from the age of 4 to 11.

She said that at first she was teased about her size but gradually the taunts turned into physical abuse, including spitting, hitting, taunting and teasing. She once needed six stitches around an eye after being pushed to the ground. “I used to dread going in every day,” Miss Amor said.

“I wanted to fade into the background but it felt as though everyone was staring at me, jeering and laughing, pointing at me. I couldn’t walk down the school corridor without a snide comment being made or being given a push to get me out of the way. An average day would be suffering panic attacks and palpitations. I think I just shut off in the end.”

At the age of 9 she said that she attempted suicide by taking an overdose of pills that had been prescribed to treat her epilepsy. She said that she was still traumatised 12 years after leaving the school. At 14 depression was diagnosed and she was taken out of mainstream education. “I wouldn’t call what I have a life, I just exist,” she said.

“I don’t leave the house in case I see the bullies from school. I have no confidence left — I can’t see myself working because I’m scared of being bullied again.”

Miss Amor’s mother, Isabel, 55, said that she had tried repeatedly to make the school take the situation seriously. “I must have told the head 50 to 100 times and I took the matter to the governors,” she said. “I regret not going higher but I felt intimidated by the situation.”

Mrs Amor believes that the bullying started because her daughter was significantly taller than her classmates. “Sophie was always a tall girl — at least three inches taller than her classmates. She used to cower and stoop, desperately trying to blend in with the others.”

The case was due to be heard by the High Court but the education authority agreed the £20,000 out-of-court setttlement before the hearing.

A council spokesman said: “We have not accepted liability.” A spokeswoman for the National Union of Teachers said that making out-of- court payments could attract and encourage vexatious litigation