PARENTS v SCHOOLS
Angry? Worried about your
child? Is the School listening to you? Every day we
hear from parents regarding a negative response they 'allege'
they have received from their child's School. Obviously this does
not apply to all Schools. However, more and more we hear of cases
where parents are left feeling angry and frustrated with a School
because all attempts to raise matters with the school have proved
fruitless. Sometimes, the bullying incident(s) involving the child
becomes secondary - as the relationship between the parent and
the School breaks down completely. We have even heard from some
parents that a School has labeled them 'paranoid'. The parent
wants to protect their child. The Teacher and School wants to
protect their reputation. Does this sound familiar?
Naturally, all the parent wants
is to protect their child and know that the School is listening.
Whilst the School may have Anti-Bullying Policies, they do not
always have the processes in place to support their Policy. They
are also unlikely to have a member of staff who specialises in
"Conflict Resolution". Teachers want to get on with
teaching - they do not want to have to deal with an emotional,
distressed, parent! As a result, some parents may be left feeling
desperately worried. Communications break down and the parent
is left feeling unsupported - left in isolation to deal with the
bullying issues and care for a frightened and anxious child too.
All a parent wants is for the school to listen and take 'reasonable
steps' to ensure their child is safe.
The Department for Education is
aware of our approach (Ref 2013/0005955) and encourages us to
work closer with Schools and Parents in order to promote and develop
our programme of initiatives to combat this unpleasant situation.
Call us on 0845 22 55 787 if the
above sounds familiar and/or if you would like some practical
tips and advice. We really can help you approach this in an effective
and structured way.
CYBER BULLYING IS
ANY FORM OF BULLYING BEHAVIOUR ... USING
you being bullied at School?
you the target of Cyber-bullies?
you frightened? Are you worried about a child?
There are many reasons why kids
bully other kids. A bully may be struggling with personal problems
at home. The bullying behavior may be the only way they know how
to deal with a difficult situation in their personal life, such
as parents divorcing, a death of a relative, abuse or humiliation
of some sort in their life. This does not mean that bullying behavior
All forms of anti-social behaviour
is unacceptable. Bullies pick on others
to make life better from themselves. How sad is that?
Sometimes, a bully will pick on
someone because they are jealous or because they think that they
will be seen as ‘bigger and tougher' and it boosts their sad ego.
For the bully, behaving in a bullying manner is seen as a way
to win friends – but this is a myth and certainly a big mistake
If we all pull
together and associate ourselves with ‘like minded' people, we
will eventually 'tear away' the bullies.
Bullies are tearaway's! The bullies need to know that their behavior
is not very clever. Help them to change. Give them encouragement
to change. Bullies should not be allowed to get away with bullying
other kids. We can help you do this. We
will help you understand;
- What bullying is
- What Cyber-bullying is
- What to do if you are being bullied, whether
this is at school or in the community
- What to do if you are accused of being a bully
and/or you believe you need support
- What signs to look for
- How you can help others who are victims of
- What steps you can take to ‘tear away' the
- How you can join in with the November ‘National
Ban Bullying Week
What is bullying: Bullying
is any form of unacceptable treatment, or discrimination or behavior
intended to hurt or harm the reputation of another. It is sometimes
described as 'abuse of power' but it is in fact a desire in the
bully to control or harm another person. The reasons for this
desire can be complex.
What is Cyber-bullying:
Nearly half of the UK's 12 to 15 year olds have
faced some form of bullying, including cyber-bullying over the
last year. Research by the National Centre for Social Research
found that 47% of young people reported being bullied at the age
of 14. The same study showed that girls are more likely to be
bullied, than boys, in that same age group. Cyber-bullying is
most certainly on the increase - more and more cases are being
reported to our helpline by children and by extremely worried
parents. We are focusing on this very serious issue and we are
working closely with The Police, Facebook and other IT service
providers, to work towards eliminating this unacceptable behavior
Cyber-bullying, however, affects adults as well
as children. It is not uncommon for a disgruntled colleague or
an aggrieved employee (who has been made redundant for example)
to use technology, anonymously, to specifically name individuals
and employers - as they vent their anger and frustration.
If you are a parent, take positive steps to protect
your child when s/he uses a mobile phone or the computer at home.
There is a great deal you can do to safeguard your child.
What to do if accused
of being a bully: Not everyone
accused of being a bully is necessarily a bully in our view. A
bully can be very clever and will often want to point the finger
at another person. This is not an uncommon strategy - form of
defence. How to spot the genuine bullies from those who are accused
(by others) of being a bully (typically by a perpetrator of bullying
with a motive), can be extremely difficult.
First, it is important to remember - we all have
rights and we all have the right to be treated with dignity and
respect. Do not judge others by what you are told but by what
you believe yourself.
If you believe you are a bully however, we will
go a very long way to help you provided you seek help and want
to change. A person who holds his/her hand up and says "I
am a bully, help me" has our full support because, having
already acknowledged that they are a bully - is a problem very
largely solved. A person in this situation may need help too.
Finding the courage to stand up and ask for help in this circumstance
is commendable and should be encouraged. An 8 year old boy said
recently; "I know I am a bully and it makes me feel good
to bully someone - but later on, before I go to sleep, I think
about what I have done and I feel really sad and lonely".
This 8 year old boy is crying out for help too. Proper guidance
and expert counseling will help. There may be underlying reasons
for this behavior which only an expert mediator, or dispute resolution
service provider, can understand and help resolve. Do not be afraid
to put your hand up if you want professional help. Talk to someone
you trust. Write down how you feel and show it to a responsible
person. If you feel unable to discuss it with your parents or
teaches, ask for a 1 on 1 meeting with your doctor, or an adult
whom you trust, and tell him/her how you feel.
All bullies are cowards and Cyber-bullying, and any form of bullying
for that matter, can have long-lasting and deep-routed effects
on a target. We don't want our children to think of themselves
as victims, but as 'targets' who can re-position themselves to
combat and 'stamp out' this unhealthy, anti-social behavior
us to stamp out bullying in the playground. Get involved with our
your story with us. Keep a diary. Do you keep a diary every day
or just some days?
you are being bullied, write about it.
down the name of the person responsible, how he or she makes you
feel and who witnessed the bullying treatment. Show your work to
someone you trust. Your diary, your story, your poem.... or picture
is all about you and how you feel right now. It is 'evidence'. It
may even help you to get the proper support you need right now.
November each year we celebrate National Ban Bullying Week.
What are you doing to celebrate this important event?
In 2009 and 2010 Willie Wildcat,
of the Swindon Wildcats ice Hocky team, helped us promote Anti-bullying
week. Thank you Willie.
bullying in all corners of society.
: CONFRONT. RECORD. INFORM.
If you believe you are being bullied,
say this; "It's Cool to CRI"
the Bully. Tell the Bully to stop. Tell the Bully
how you feel. Remember, Bullies bully because they can – so
don't let them bully you.
the Bullying. Keep a log of the Bullying. Start a diary. Keep
someone. Tell a responsible person. Tell a Teacher. Tell an adult.
We are hearing lots of tales about
Cyber-bullying involving unwelcome mobile text messages and from
abusive websites and other forums.
Don't give your name, age, address
or contact details to strangers over the internet even if they sound
really friendly and you have spoken to them lots of times. If you
have never met them, don't fall for their charm. A genuine person
would never ask a child to reveal personal information about themselves.
Don't tell people where you live
or which school you go to. NEVER arrange to meet them. If a stranger
asks you to meet them, see this as a warning sign and tell your
parents or tell a responsible person.
Confide in somone you trust.
Also, another good bit of advice
for you is to change your log-in details regularly and change your
passwords. The only two people you should share your password details
with are your mum or dad. When did you last change your password
on your computer? Who did you tell?
Parents, you have a role to play
too! Remember, the police can often trace the perpetrators. You
need to check that your child is safe and that they take care. Check
their sites and monitor their browsing and mail content periodically.
Sit down and talk to your child about his/her concerns.
Criminal Charges may be brought
under The Harassment Act and other legislation that is there to
protect you and your child.
Talk to someone you Trust.
A problem shared is a problem halved
FROM CHILDREN IN UK SCHOOLS
- Bullying hurts.
- Never be afraid. Don't feel upset.
Be brave and ask for help. People don't want to change because
they are bullied. Not just girls get bullied.
- Don't let the bully win you over.
Make sure you tell someone and C.R.I.
- Stop bullying now and tell someone.
You are not alone. Tell someone and be happy.
- Say NO to bullying. C.R.I. now.
- Stop bullying. It's mean.
- Bullying sucks.
- Bullying is not cool.
- If you are being bullied Don't
hesitate to call The National Bullying Helpline.
- CRI. If however you feel more
comfey talking to someone down the phone then call this number:
0845 22 55 787.
- CRI out.
- Help people confront their bullies.
- It's cool to C.R.I.
- You are not alone. Make this
stop now and tell someone.
- Think before you bully someone.
It wont make anything better. If you are being bullied, C.R.I.
- There are all forms of bullying,
Cyber-bullying, physical bullying and name calling. Put a stop
to bullying. C.R.I.
- You are not alone. Call 0845
22 55 787
- Don't be a victim.
- What do I do (sniff)? Where is
he? Talk. Don't keep it in.
- Stop bullying. If you are being
bullied, you can count on us. 0845 22 55 787
- Bullying. Why do it? What do
they want from me? I am so confused.
- Don't let the bullies win.
- Don't let bullying get you down.
- Mollie hated it. Tara and Tina
did it to her every day. C.R.I.
- You can stop bullying if you
- Don't be cruel. Don't be afraid.
Give bullying the boot.
- Do you think you are being bullied?
If you are, then C.R.I. The helpline will talk you through the
easy process and soon you will be OK.
- Don't be afraid. Be happy. Do
something about it. C.R.I.
- If you are being bullied Don't
keep it to yourself. Tell someone and they can help. If you Don't
it can only get worse. Do the best for you and others who are
- Give bullies the boot.
There are a number of practical
things you can do if you are worried about your child or if you
believe that your child is being bullied. Remember CRI.
Confront, Record, Inform (see above).
Buy your child a diary today. A
diary is evidence !
Ask your child to tell the bully
to STOP. Ensure your
diary keeps a diary, particularly if he/she finds it difficult to
talk about the bullying. This is evidence. Now that your child has
informed you, you need to take some positive steps to address the
Document everything yourself too.
Keep a diary. Put your concerns in writing to the school. Do not
be tempted to enter into a discussion or meeting with a school representative
if you are emotionally distressed. Document your concerns and/or
arrange for someone to accompany you. If you believe the school
is hiding behind their Anti-Bullying Policy, escalate your concerns
to the Trustee's of the School or the local authority. Put your
concerns in writing and keep a photocopy. Speak to your local MP
too if the matter is sufficiently serious or if you believe there
is a culture of bullying in that particular school. Inform the Police
if you believe your child, or another child, is in danger.
Most of all, remember...the most
important person here is your child. Ensure s/he receives counselling
or medical help if required. Observe their behavior and if you think
they are acting out of character, seek immediate assistance. Call
your GP today.
Seek professional assistance at
We may be able to refer you to a
Family Law Solicitor or a Solicitor specialising in The Harassment
FOR A CHANGE IN LAW
Lawyers, MP's and Charities call
for radical changes in law to address bullying - particularly
Cyber-bullying and Cyber-stalking - including in schools. An
Anti-Bullying Policy is not enough as often it is just a paperwork
exercise. The burden of proof should not be on the parent alone
to prove their child is a target of bullying - there needs to
be a shared 'common sense' approach. A parent should not report
individual cases to the class teacher - as, very often, the class
teacher become defensive and this creates more conflict and distress!!
A firm Government stance is now
required. A Government Directive or Code of Practice is needed (similar
to the ACAS Code of Conduct in the workplace).
We say; Anti bullying Codes of Conduct
should be visible to parents and teachers. Regulators and proper
registration processes should be in place and cases recorded, statistically,
and analysed. There should be a team of collectively appointed mentors
and harassment buddies in every school comprising of both teachers
and parents. There needs to be regular reviews of cases, outcomes
and lessons learnt. There should also be mandatory education in
schools for children on coping mechanisms and independent arbitrators,
investigators and mediators - funded by the Government.
NB: It would be good also if we
stopped calling targets of bullying 'victims'. A child should not
be encouraged to think of himself/herself as 'a victim'.
Whoever you are, whatever your age, whatever your
role ; if you are struggling with bullying issues, read our website.
It is packed with useful information.
OTHER USEFUL NUMBERS
- Childline : 0800 1111
- The NSPCC : 0808 800 5000
- Kidscape : 020 7730 3300
- Relate : 0300 100 1234
- Splitz : 01225 777724
- Victim Support : 01380 729476
- Barnardo's : 01225 751261
- Women's Aid National Helpline : 0808 200 0247
- Samaritans : 0845 790 9090
- Police Domestic Violence Liaison Officer : North
& West Wilts. 01249 449766