Birmingham's head of education has spoken of his "anger and despair" after finding out his teenage son was being bullied at school.
Les Lawrence, the city's Cabinet member for education, said the trauma his family had been put through had "reinforced" his passion to crack down on school bullies.
He called on city head teachers not to sweep the issue under the carpet and urged them to adopt a zero tolerance approach to the problem.
Coun Lawrence's willingness to speak out about his family's personal suffering will strike a chord with hundreds of parents whose children have been victimised.
The fact that he holds the highest education office in the city and his wife is Chris Keates, general secretary of teachers' union the NASUWT, will add political potency to the issue.
Coun Lawrence ( Con Northfield) said his 13-yearold son was victimised by six boys at his school.
"It was physical bullying. There was bullying to various degrees. I don't know what it was about - that is not something my son divulged to me.
"It is frightening when you think of the catastrophic end result we have seen where young people have hanged themselves or done themselves serious injury because of the pressure and stress of getting bullied. Even in the closest of families it is quite difficult for young people to discuss what is happening to them with their parents."
Despite his job, Coun Lawrence described feeling powerless when he first discovered what his son was going through.
"You go from anger to despair to wanting to provide a more protective framework for your children. It can happen to anyone. I did feel helpless in that instant. Then you set about sorting it out, not because of who you are but because you are a parent."
Research by the charity Young Voice shows that 50 per cent of children have been bullied and 13 per cent have been bullied severely.
It claims incidents are getting increasingly more violent.
The Government has been running a series of antibullying conferences this year.
It has urged all schools to sign up to an anti-bullying charter to show their commitment to tackling the issue.
Birmingham City Council is conducting a detailed scrutiny inquiry to help identify the extent of the problem.
Coun Lawrence applauded city schools that were training support staff and dinner supervisors to pick up on the various nuances of bullying.
And he also encouraged the use of older pupils as peer mentors to help out younger children experiencing difficulties.
Coun Lawrence's revelation was applauded by the region's anti-bullying tsar, Adrienne Katz, chief executive of Young Voice.
"I think it is brilliant of him," she said. "It helps children and parents realise it is not just them and they may also believe that he will see to it that something happens."
Ms Katz added: "Some schools still don't take it seriously. Only the other day I heard of a headteacher who dismissed a pupil's fears and his suffering went on."