NEWPORT school pupils quizzed children's commissioner Peter Clarke on how he could help them stamp out mobile phone bullying.

The Argus exclusively revealed last month how school bullies started using bluetooth technology to intimidate and threaten their victims anonymously by text message.

But since last October teachers and sixth-formers at Duffryn High School have worked together on the PALS (peer active listening scheme) anti-bullying programme, which trains older children to befriend and counsel victims.

Duffryn High School has now banned the use of mobile phones, but the sinister new form of bullying is spreading outside school hours. Some of the participants met Mr Clarke, an independent champion for Welsh under-18s, to urge him to take action against text bullying.

Alex Currie, 17, described the anguish of being bullied when he was younger.

He said: "When I started school I was threatened and physically and mentally abused each day. I was thrown into bushes and had my dinner money stolen from me. I hated going to school so much I started to stay home, letting myself back into the house after my parents had gone to work.

"PALS has given me more confidence and taught me to help others." Another student, Abigail Pollard, 17, said: "It's terrible because mobile phones are essential, but it makes you very wary. I never answer my calls unless I know who they are from."

Runa Begum, 16, asked Mr Clarke if he could work with mobile phone companies to change the technology being sold to youngsters. She said: "Bullying is so much more damaging when you don't know where it is coming from. There's no safe place or protection from it."

Mr Clarke said he would use his role to investigate what could be done, and invited the pupils to his office to help him.

"If we can find a way to work with these phone companies, then we will, but what we want to do is involve you students in this. Any changes must be worked on together."