On the button to beat bullies
AN INVENTOR has pushed the button on bullying, coming up with a gadget that he hopes will tackle playground torment once and for all. The Bully Button is the creation of Kane Kramer and was inspired by his 14-year-old daughter s claims of taunting and vic
AN INVENTOR has pushed the button on bullying, coming up with a gadget that he hopes will tackle playground torment once and for all.
The Bully Button is the creation of Kane Kramer and was inspired by his 14-year-old daughter's claims of taunting and victimisation at Priory School in Hitchin.
After more than a year of misery and failed discussions with the school, Mr Kramer, from Poynters End, Preston, took the final step and removed his daughter from classes.
But rather than dwelling on the problem, he thinks he's come up with a solution.
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The Bully Button is a mini-recording device worn discreetly by an individual.
Mr Kramer said: "A Bully Button is a discreet MP3-type recording device and can transmit a signal to a hard disc receiver on a school computer.
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"The idea is that if a child is being victimised or abused, they can go to the headteacher and request a Bully Button.
"It's pinned on and if there's an occurrence during break or lunchtime, the recordings can be used by the school."
Mr Kramer hopes the gadget will make allegations of bullying much easier to deal with.
He said: "It will be the very first time that bullying can be studied at very close proximity.
"In the past it's been judged by statements and witness accounts, so rather than going on hearsay we've put surveillance into the situation.
"It's the best form of evidence you could hope for."
Mr Kramer's breakthrough may help future victims prove their claims or clear up false allegations, but he wishes the aid had been available earlier for his daughter's experiences.
"I had the idea over the few days last week, as a result of the problem that was going on.
"When push came to shove, I didn't have any evidence.
"If she had been wearing a Bully Button we could have gone back to the recordings and heard what was said and who said it.
"It's really damaging her education.
"She loves going to school but she's nervous about going.
"She thinks the Bully Button is a great idea and is sad that she didn't have one earlier."
Mr Kramer's daughter is currently looking for a new school while continuing her studies at home.
The Bully Button's launch is planned for September and is currently under development by Mr Kramer with the help of five fellow inventors.
Liz Carnell, director of Bullying Online (www.bullying.co.uk) said: "We think it's an interesting concept and we've contacted the firm for more details about it.
"Our initial thought was that schools should have enough staff available to be able to check in person if name calling is taking place but we're interested in new technology so we thought we would investigate further."
Peter Loach, headteacher at Priory, acknowledged that there had been a number of allegations of bullying.
He said: "As with every allegation of bullying, and in accordance with our anti-bullying policy, which students helped to write, we have responded promptly and appropriately."
When asked Mr Loach refused to comment on the use of the Bully Button.