This first section is taken from work with a group of 13-14 year-olds in a school in Exeter and includes their ideas on bullies and bullying:
WORDS ABOUT BULLIES
– Bad backgrounds
– Take out anger
– No respect
– Get at people
– Show off
– Abuse and shouting
DEALING WITH BULLIES
– Talk to someone you trust like a friend
– Talk to a teacher or youth worker etc.
– Ignore them
– Smack them one (hit them)
1. What Is Bullying?
Bullying can mean many different things. These are some ways children and young people have described it:
– being called names
– being teased
– being pushed or pulled about
– being hit or attacked
– being threatened physically, emotionally, mentally
– having your bag and other possessions taken and thrown around
– having rumours spread about you
– being ignored and left out
– being forced to hand over money or possessions
– being attacked because of your religion, race or identity
– being bullied on social media or on the web
Children get bullied
- at school
- in the playground, in class or in the toilets
- on their way to and from school
- on the bus
- in the park
- on social media and online, including games (57% of young people have been bullied while gaming, with 22% stopping playing as a result). SOURCE: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40092541
2. How To Deal With The Bullying
TELL, TELL, TELL
- Remember that no-one has the right to bully you, ever, anywhere
- Practice what you want to say
- Keep a note or diary of what is happening
- Don’t give up
- Ask your parents to visit the school
- Talk over what to do with a friend, a teacher, your mum or dad or someone you trust
- Remember that teachers have to listen carefully when a child tells them about being bullied.
- If people bully, they are the ones with the problem and not you!
Keep emails, comments on Facebook, twitter and keep text messages. Show them to someone if you can find the courage in you. It’s much better to tell someone than to try and suffer in silence.
Remember – it’s right to tell an adult that you are being bullied and to ask for their help. But you don’t have to let them take over. You can talk with them about what you would like to happen.
Bullying hurts. It makes you scared and upset. It can make you so worried that you can’t work well at school. Some children have told us they have skipped school to get away from it. It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you. Bullies can make you feel that it’s your fault..
3. Helping A Friend And Others
Maybe you’re not being bullied, but you know someone who is – perhaps that person is not even a good friend, but a class-mate or someone from another class? Have you ever stood around and noticed that someone was being bullied, but you weren’t sure what you could do? Or thought that nothing you could do would make a difference?
Don’t ignore bullying. You can help. Don’t let the bullies get away with thinking that no-one will do anything. Here are a few things you can do, and a couple that you can’t:
- Don’t be quick to rush over and take them on
- It might not be safe and you don’t want other people to think you are a bully
- Let a teacher or other adult know what’s happening
- Try to be a friend to the person being bullied
- Refuse to join in
- Try to be friendly to the bully, but even if you can’t be friends, being kind can sometimes help the bully stop bullying
- Sometimes you can’t sort it out yourself. Ask an adult for help
4. Some People Say…
1. “Bullying is just part of growing up….”
It isn’t. You don’t have to put up with it. Adults don’t put up with being hit and shouted out when they go to work. You shouldn’t have to, either.
2. “If you hit back, you won’t get bullied again….”
Don’t believe it. It may work sometimes, but it is just as likely to make things worse. You may also end up more hurt.
3. “Only victims get bullied….”
It is not true that some people are more likely to be bullied than others. Although some people are bullied because they may be different in some way (they have a disability, are from another country, or speak with a different accent), many other children are bullied without any obvious reason. Don’t forget that bullies have sometimes been bullied themselves.
4. “My school says there’s no bullying here….”
Your school may be very lucky to have no bullying problem at the moment, but most schools recognise that bullying does go on, and many are doing something about it. If your school is ignoring bullying, talk to your mum or dad, whoever looks after you, a youth worker, chaplain or friend about what to do. They might be able to talk to other parents, and meet with the Head to try to tackle the problem. Every school in the UK must have an anti-bullying policy so ask someone in school to see one. If there isn’t one, go to someone who you trust who can ask the school why not and to create a policy.