Any bullying is deplorable, but in the Cumbrian comprehensive where I have taught for many years I have never heard any student use the word "boffin"
-to me an arcane term conjuring up pipe-smokers in tweed jackets in British 1950s war films.
An unscientific survey of colleagues and high-attaining students reveals similar puzzlement: these students might occasionally be called "swots" or "nerds". Are we, along with our red squirrels, in a time-warp in the far North West or is there some media-driven exaggeration here?
Andy Connell Appleby, Cumbria