School's Plan To Take Down Mean Girls

Wimbledon High School is stepping up


How many of you have ever felt personally victimized, if not by Regina George, than by an equally difficult girl at school?

School's a good site for growing up: it provides boundaries to rebel against which simultaneously create an environment that feels safe. You're able to work out who you are and what you like – but when your classmates decide that what they actually don't like is you, what do you do?


If you're Jane Lunnon, you hire an education consultant. The headmistress of Wimbledon High School is hoping to break up 'toxic cliquey gangs' through Emma Gleadhill, who will discuss 'failing friendships' with students aged 13 to 15.


Lunnon notes that pupils' relationships are a key motivator in how they fare academically, and that social media plays a detrimental role in this. She claims that Facebook, SnapChat and the like make pupils feel insecure about their friendships as they receive 'relentless messages' suggesting others are more popular than they are.

Three years ago I graduated from an all-girls school which I loved with an ardent, teenage, possibly misplaced passion. I was never bullied, but I did cry when I didn't get invited to Hannah Marshall's Halloween party. And when Eileen Griffiths told me that I looked better in the mirror than I did in real life.

If there had been an education psychologist, maybe Eileen would have stayed shtum, but more likely I would have been able to shrug her words off better. Schemes that provide support for teenage girls can only ever be a good thing. Here's hoping that this one takes off.

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