HomePortalCalendarFAQSearchRegisterMemberlistUsergroupsLog in

Share | 
 

 What is bullying

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Jane
Admin
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 59
Age : 34
Location : England
Registration date : 2007-12-03

PostSubject: What is bullying   Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:52 pm

INTRODUCTION
Most of us will have experienced some form of bullying at some time in our lives. Normally this will be short-lived and hopefully not of lasting harm. The severity and form bullying takes can vary hugely but it always involves someone trying to cause distress and/or physical harm to someone else

Childline gets more calls from children about bullying than on any other subject; of all the calls to Childline last year 18%, or just under 22,000 calls, were from children worried about bullying. An NSPCC study in 2001 revealed that "43 per cent of young people had, at some point in their childhood, experienced bullying, discrimination or being made to feel different by other children" and that its effects may last for years afterwards.

The following organisations offer useful information on dealing with the situation your child is in – either as a bully or a victim of bullying – and can direct you to people who can help.

WHAT IS BULLYING
Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal, emotional, racist and sexual abuse. According to the Kidscape publication ‘Preventing Bullying’, all types have three main elements:

Deliberate hostility and aggression towards the victim
A victim who is weaker and less powerful than the bully or bullies
An outcome which is always painful and distressing for the victim
The Scottish Executive publication ‘Let’s Stop Bullying’ serves as a good introduction to the subject, answering common questions about bullying and providing advice for young people and families. It also points out that bullies need help too, as their behaviour may reflect their own personal or social problems. ChildLine has a factsheet on bullying in a format you can share with a child.

WHY CHILDREN BULLY OTHERS
Children bully others for a broad range of reasons. Kidscape suggests that children may bully others because they are coping with a difficult situation, for example changes at home, or they are feeling powerless and so intimidate someone else to feel better themselves. They may not fully appreciate that their behaviour is wrong or have not yet developed more satisfying and appropriate ways of interacting with other children. They may have been bullied themselves, or are copying the behaviour of someone they admire. ChildLine also lists some of the reasons why people bully on its site.

SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD IS POSSIBLY BEING BULLIED
KIDSCAPE is a registered charity that provides information and advice on bullying to children, parents, teachers, social workers and police. They focus on preventative policies in an attempt to avoid children being harmed. The KIDSCAPE website includes a list of signs that you may pick up on if your child is the victim of bullying and some brief advice as to how you can help. The site also provides advice on how to address the subject of bullying with your child. It is best to tackle the problem as early as possible – persistent bullying can lead to low self-esteem, shyness and depression.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED AT SCHOOL
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has a useful website for parents who feel their child is being bullied. It includes advice on:

·how to support your child

·talking with teachers

·what to do if you’re not satisfied

·what to do if your child is bullying others

·useful organisations and online help with bullying


If you believe your child may be a victim of bullying, you are advised by the Department for Education ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ bullying campaign to pursue the following course of action:

·Talk to your child calmly about what they have experienced.

·Note down what your child says – pay special attention to details of who was involved, how often and where the bullying has occurred and what exactly happened.

·It is important to reassure your child that reporting the bullying incident is the correct response and explain to them that if it should occur again, then they should let you or a teacher know immediately.

·It is important for you to be in contact with your child’s teacher or form tutor. Make an appointment with the teacher and explain the problems your child is experiencing. They may not be aware of what is going on. The teacher will be able to inform you of the school policy on bullying.

You are entitled to see copies of your child’s school records, to see if their teachers have noted behaviour in your child or other children that would suggest that bullying is occurring. The Bullying Online site informs you what documents you are able to access and how to get hold of them.

If you are not content with the way the school are handling your child’s situation, it maybe a good idea to put your concerns in writing. Sample letters are laid out on the Bullying Online site, and can serve as a basic template for those wishing to complain. They also have a page of advice on contacting the school governors though your first point of contact should be the class teacher and/or head teacher, as it is the head teacher who is responsible for dealing with your concerns. The article expresses the problem from both a parent’s and a governor’s point of view and is very insightful.

The Bullying Online site also publishes a page of advice for parents and a question and answer page that addresses questions frequently raised by concerned parents.

If you are concerned about the effects of bullying on your child’s mood and behaviour, a good organisation to be in touch with is YoungMinds. It is a children’s mental health charity that specialises in providing information and advice for parents and young people on a whole range of issues, including bullying. You may also want to visit our section on mental health.

Bullying often focuses on perceived differences as a way to isolate someone. This may mean that a bully picks on differences in someone’s race, colour or beliefs. Bullying Online suggest that if your child has been threatened or attacked because of his or her race then you need to contact the police. It is a criminal offence under the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 to racially harass or assault anyone and the Public Order Act 1986 makes it an offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting language to stir up racial hatred. Schools are obliged to keep records of incidents and who was involved.

Bullying Online has detailed information on racist bullying, providing an e-mail advice service available in any language. There is also a useful list of other contacts, including the Commission for Racial Equality who can give advice if your child has been bullied. The Anti-Bullying Network, funded by the Scottish Executive, also covers racist bullying in some detail. The site outlines the main issues and how to deal with them and is applicable nationwide.

Homophobic bullying is on the increase in schools, affecting children as young as seven. The Anti-Bullying Network deals with this subject comprehensively, looking into why children face this kind of bullying and what can be done to alleviate the problem.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS BULLYING OTHERS
If you are informed or have a suspicion that your child is bullying others, it is important to stay calm, setting a good example to the child. The Department for Education and Skills site provides a checklist you can refer to in order to stop your child bullying and a number of relevant books. Most importantly, you should be in touch with the school.

There are a number of parent organisations that offer support to parents going through difficult situations, including Parentline Plus on 0808 800 2222.

WHAT ACTION CAN THE SCHOOL TAKE AGAINST BULLYING
In most instances, it is the school’s responsibility to resolve the problem of bullying. Under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, all schools are obliged to have an anti-bullying policy. This is a document that sets out how the school deals with bullying. You have a right to know about this policy, which is for parents as much as for staff and pupils.

The DfES sets out guidelines by which schools should deal with bullying. They are part of the anti-bullying pack ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ which can be downloaded from the DfES website. You will first need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) if you don't already have it.

There are several courses of action that a school can take to overcome the problem of bullying. These may include counselling the protagonists, mediating between the bully and the victim or in extreme cases, expulsion of the bully. The Anti-Bullying Net clearly outlines solutions that have been tried internationally to solve bullying problems. The site covers the specific strategies of circle time and the praise and reward system, methods that are used in many schools across the UK. Bullying Online has more detailed explanations of several bullying strategies, including the no blame approach and peer group programmes.

The school may have ‘bully boxes’ for comments on incidents, or school forums for young people to share in dealing with the issue. They may also have an assigned teacher who deals with bullying. The NSPCC has information to support schools develop anti-bullying strategies, including setting up peer supporters, as some research shows that young people may prefer to talk to another young person. The NSPCC has a team of Regional Education Advisors who can talk to schools about bullying problems.

If the head teacher decides to deal with the situation by excluding the bully from school, there are certain terms to which the school must adhere, set out by the DfES on its TeacherNet website. The DfES also recommends the Advisory Centre for Education’s free information packs on exclusion. Parents who are unhappy with an independent appeal panel decision on the exclusion of their child can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. This action must be taken within 15 days of written notification that your child is to be excluded from school. For information on exclusions in Scotland, visit the Scottish Executive's parentzone site.

The National Children’s Bureau has an in-depth booklet available online called “Towards a non-violent society: Checkpoints for Schools”. This provides lists and advice on the many ways attitudes to violence can be addressed through the curriculum, physical environment, discussion, and use of language and peer group support. There is also a list of books and teaching materials (pages 18/19) for teachers and parents. You will first need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader (free).

There is a similar booklet of suggestions for nurseries, “Checkpoints for Early Years” with contacts and materials listed.

OUT OF SCHOOL BULLYING
Bullying can also take place outside school. It can be more difficult to handle in these circumstances because there is no set jurisdiction to deal with the problem. Refer to the Bullying Online advice for tackling instances of bullying out of school. If you do not think any of the approaches suggested are suitable, you could contact your local police station, which will have a youth and community officer to assist you. The Metropolitan Police website has a section on bullying, which includes information on coping with bullying that occurs on the way home from school.

Bullying falls under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and the police take it very seriously. If the bully attends the same school as your child, you may feel more comfortable involving the head teacher or a member of staff before the police.

LEGAL ACTION
As a last resort, you may feel the need to take legal action to resolve the bullying. This can take a long time and there is no guarantee of success. If you choose to take this course the Bullying Online site is a good place to start, providing information about what procedure to follow if you wish to take legal action and a useful Q&A that may answer many of the questions you have on the subject. The Anti-Bullying Network has a list of the pros and cons of pursuing the legal route.

For further information you are advised to consult a solicitor. See our Lawyers & Legal Advice section.

WHERE TO GET ADVICE
The Anti-Bullying Network publishes a list of suggested reading for parents on bullying.

Other organisations to contact:

Anti Bullying Campaign
185 Tower Bridge Road
London SE1 2UF
Telephone: 020 7378 1446 Helpline (9.30-5pm Mon-Fri)
For distressed parents whose children are victims of bullying within a school environment. They also publish leaflets.

Bullying Online
E-mail: help@bullying.co.uk (response usually within 24 hours)

Childline UK
Studd Street
London N1 0QW
Telephone: 020-7239 1000
Fax: 020-7239 1001
Helpline: 0800 1111

Please note that ChildLine handles an enormous volume of calls and lines are often engaged. Keep trying or ring another helpline on this list.

KIDSCAPE
2 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0DH
Telephone: 020 7730 3300 (bullying helpline weekdays 10am-4pm)
Fax: 020 7730 7081
E-mail: info@kidscape.org.uk

YoungMinds
102-108 Clerkenwell Road,
London EC1M 5SA
Telephone: 020 7336 8445
Fax: 020 7336 8446
Parents' Information Service: 0800 018 2138
E-mail: enquiries@youngminds.org.uk
Back to top Go down
View user profile
 
What is bullying
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» National Bullying Helpline patron quits over No 10 row
» Reporting This Forum for Bullying and Harassment
» Trolls, Cyber bullying and all that.
» Susan G. Komen Foundation spends almost a million dollars of donor money per year bullying other charities that use the word CURE in their names.
» Jasmine McClain, Age 10, Commits Suicide Because of Bullies

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Education :: School Problems :: Bullying-
Jump to: