DISTRESSED parents are claiming kids as young as 14 are drinking alcohol to cope with the bullying ‘epidemic’ in Cumnock and Doon Valley.

Worried mums contacted the Cumnock Chronicle to share their deep concerns that bullying is ‘out of control’ at local secondary schools.

It comes after Auchinleck Academy recently picked up a Gold Rights Respecting Schools Award from UNICEF UK who found that pupils felt safe in school.

But now one ‘heartbroken’ Auchinleck mum, who wants to remain anonymous to protect her child’s identity, is claiming pupils are so scared to reach out about the bullying ‘they would rather just end their lives’.

We recently told you how one anguished mother even shot bullies with a BB gun who ‘drove her daughter to suicidal thoughts’.

Now other parents have come forward to say the problem isn’t going away with youngsters using Snapchat to torment their classmates.

But education bosses say social media abuse is ‘out with their control’ and is a police matter, however insist they would still support pupils suffering from this type of bullying.

One mum told the Chronicle: “There is too much bullying going on and kids are committing suicide because of it, something needs to be done quickly but with immunity to the kids involved.

“My son goes to Auchinleck Academy but it is also happening in other secondary schools.

“They are all joining each other’s profiles just to bully on Snapchat, it’s becoming an epidemic.

“The kids are so scared to tell they would rather just end their lives. My heart is breaking for them.

“They go online to have an argument, then before you know, it becomes a national debate and all friends stick together.

“Then the poor innocent and already lonely kid, becomes the butt of the bullying at school.

“Then they can’t take it any more and end their lives because their hormones are changing and they are becoming more susceptible to comments online.

“My son was suicidal in his first two years of secondary school because he had no friends.

“Now he is found to be saying ‘Mum my friend is severely depressed at 14 and drinking to take away the depression.’

“That is a big burden for a 14-year old to take on.

“It’s heartbreaking the number of kids that are being bullied.

“I can’t stand by and watch this happen, we need to do something about this.

“As parents we are kept out of the loop.

“They tell each other they are depressed but the parents are kept in the dark.”

We told how Anne Carson, 40, was convicted of shooting Auchinleck Academy pupils with a BB gun after claiming they had been terrorising her daughter.

She has admitted she was ‘wrong’ but didn’t regret taking things into her own hands after feeling like the high school didn’t do enough to help her child.

Anne told the Chronicle her 14-year-old daughter was so distressed by bullies she wrote suicide notes in class and started to self-harm.

She claims her classmates filmed her being pushed down the stairs, verbally assaulted her, pulling her hair, and made her life a nightmare every day.

The furious mum wanted schools to start taking bullying seriously so parents don’t feel forced to intervene resulting in drastic outcomes.

Linda McAulay-Griffiths, Head of Education said: “No parents have recently contacted the education authority in relation to this.

“In general however, any incidents of bullying in any of our educational establishments are dealt with quickly and effectively. Auchinleck Academy in particular has just achieved a Gold Rights Respecting Schools Award from UNICEF UK who found that pupils felt safe in school, and that if any incidents of bullying arose, these were dealt with swiftly and fairly.

“The school has an anti-bullying policy in place and a leaflet on the matter has been shared with all pupils, parents and staff.

“There is also a very effective Pupil Support Team which deals with any allegations of bullying behaviour promptly and effectively. Parents are fully informed and involved in any decisions or actions taken.

“As for Snapchat, this is a social media platform that neither the Education Service, nor the school, have any control over and any online abuse would be a matter for the police. Any young person who needed help or advice in relation to this would, of course, be supported by the school.”