Funnyman Bill Cosby is backing an anti-bullying drive following the death of American teenager PHOEBE PRINCE in January (10), who was allegedly driven to suicide by her school mates.
Nine youngsters have been accused of tormenting the 15 year old, who was found hanged at her home in Massachusetts, prior to her death.
Cosby is allowing clips from an episode of his 1970s cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, which addresses the issue of bullying, to be used by Dr. Marilyn Irving to raise awareness of the problem across America.
And the veteran star is urging education workers to recognise if a child is the victim of playground abuse - because when his eldest daughter Erika was bullied he realised straight away and addressed the problem with her school.
Speaking to U.S. host Larry King, he says, "(Teachers) should be able to recognise it when they see it, as they're walking around the hallways, as the kids are sitting in the classrooms. I'm really asking all of them to wake up, because for a child to hang him or herself, to me, that's a very, very violent act - a way of taking yourself out because some people are practising hatred toward you, whether they know what they're doing or not.
"These adults have to get in now. If you look at some schools, there's one counsellor for 420 kids. And unless that child really steps out and comes to that counsellor, how would one know?
"I don't believe that you can take a job as a teacher, as a superintendent, as a principal and not recognise, when you're being told by parents. You see, for instance, when our daughter Erika had a problem, she reported it to us. Mrs. Cosby then went to the school. The school immediately - and Erika is maybe seven, eight years old - immediately brought the parents in of the child who was doing the bullying. And it worked."
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