A young father has shared a "heartbreaking" story of his son's battle with school bullying after noticing strange markings on his hand.
The British dad took to social media in a now viral post, sharing a "powerful" photo of the markings.
The image shows a tally of how many times his son felt bullied during a two day period of school, the father Matthew Beard explained.
"My son has been at high school for just over a week. On his hand here he’s made a record of how many times in the last two days he has been bullied, verbally or physically," he wrote, while sharing the picture on Twitter.
In total, he tallied 21 occasions.
"It’s heartbreaking," Mr Beard said, arguing schools need to "come down harder" on bullies, even suggesting parents could be fined for their children's ongoing poor behaviour.
The dad seemed to be keeping an even keel about the situation but wanted to raise the issue for other parents.
"I’ve shared this because I think it’s a powerful photo. He wanted to show us how often it’s happened in two days of school. You just don’t know what goes on & you expect you kids to be safe at school. I’m sure it will all sort itself out," he wrote.
Friends online were quick to offer their support and well wishes to Mr Beard and his son Harry.
"That is so sad I’m sure you have a plan to support," one responded.
According to the federal government's Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, about 70 per cent of children Harry's age endure bullying in Aussie schools.
The latest data from a longitudinal study carried out by the institute revealed that seven in 10 children aged 12–13 experienced at least one bullying-like behaviour within a year.
The same study found that almost half (46%) of children of the same age who experienced at least one bullying-like behaviour also bullied another child.
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