PARENTS have hit out at claims by education bosses that there isn’t a bullying problem in Galashiels.

School chiefs were reacting to video footage of a first year pupil being attacked outside the Academy.

The distressing social media post was shared by more than 1,000 concerned parents and pupils towards the end of last week – and it attracted a wave of anger and condemnation from around the region.

Many parents contacted the Border Telegraph directly about what they describe as an ongoing ‘bullying culture’ at Galashiels Academy.

But the local authority's education director Donna Manson doesn't agree.

She said: “Scottish Borders Council and all our schools take bullying extremely seriously.

"We investigate all allegations and take appropriate action where necessary, including involving Police Scotland as required.

“There is no evidence of systemic bullying in the Scottish Borders as a whole, or in any particular school.

“Bullying does occur in schools from time to time, but it is unacceptable and we continue to work with teachers, parents and pupils to ensure that there are respectful relationships in all our schools.

“We would encourage any pupil that is suffering bullying of any kind to raise it with a teacher or their parents to ensure that the school can take the necessary action.”

But parents don't agree.

One mother, who we agreed not to name, told us how her son has been too frightened to go to school for five months.

She said: “My child has been at school for one day in the past five months – he was physically attacked and the only punishment his attacker got was to write a letter of apology.

“When he did go back for that one day to the Academy it all kicked off again – he won’t go back now at all.

“I have asked the school time and time again if they can guarantee my child’s safety but they can’t.

“This is destroying my child’s education and it is destroying his life.”

Two other mothers also contacted us to reveal that they removed their children from Galashiels Academy because of ongoing bullying.

And they urged other parents to do the same.

One told us: “It was like all of the problems disappeared when they went to Earlston High School. My child is happy again.

“Galashiels Academy did absolutely nothing for an entire year.

“If your child is being bullied at the Academy find them another school – it’s the only way it will stop.”

Police Scotland have been alerted to two incidents in the past fortnight at Galashiels Academy.

A spokesman told us: “We were alerted to a video [filmed outside the Academy] on a social media website last Wednesday after concern was raised for those involved.

“Officers are currently reviewing the incident and are working with all parties to establish the circumstances.

“We were also called following the discovery of an improvised weapon within a school in Galashiels on Wednesday, September 20.

“Inquiries were conducted by the school, along with police, and no criminality was established.”