National Bullying Helpline

STAMP OUT BULLYING

CALL 0845 22 55 787

 


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.

BULLYING HURTS

CYBER BULLYING IS ANY FORM OF BULLYING BEHAVIOUR ... USING TECHNOLOGY

Child being bullying by a group of other childrenAre you being bullied at School?

Are you the target of Cyber-bullies?

Are 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 is OK.

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 bullying
  • What steps you can take to ‘tear away' the bullies, and
  • 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.

Don't be a Victim. 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

KIDS

Help us to stamp out bullying in the playground. Get involved with our work.

Share your story with us. Keep a diary. Do you keep a diary every day or just some days?

If you are being bullied, write about it.

Write 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.

Willy WildcatWilly Wildcat

During 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.

We address bullying in all corners of society.

 

C.R.I. : CONFRONT. RECORD. INFORM.

If you believe you are being bullied, say this; "It's Cool to CRI"

  1. Confront 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.
  2. Record the Bullying. Keep a log of the Bullying. Start a diary. Keep a record.
  3. Inform someone. Tell a responsible person. Tell a Teacher. Tell an adult.

CYBERBULLYING.

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 !

COMMENTS FROM CHILDREN IN UK SCHOOLS

  1. Bullying hurts.
  2. 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.
  3. Don't let the bully win you over. Make sure you tell someone and C.R.I.
  4. Stop bullying now and tell someone. You are not alone. Tell someone and be happy.
  5. Say NO to bullying. C.R.I. now.
  6. Stop bullying. It's mean.
  7. Bullying sucks.
  8. Bullying is not cool.
  9. If you are being bullied Don't hesitate to call The National Bullying Helpline.
  10. CRI. If however you feel more comfey talking to someone down the phone then call this number: 0845 22 55 787.
  11. CRI out.
  12. Help people confront their bullies.
  13. It's cool to C.R.I.
  14. You are not alone. Make this stop now and tell someone.
  15. Think before you bully someone. It wont make anything better. If you are being bullied, C.R.I.
  16. There are all forms of bullying, Cyber-bullying, physical bullying and name calling. Put a stop to bullying. C.R.I.
  17. You are not alone. Call 0845 22 55 787
  18. Don't be a victim.
  19. What do I do (sniff)? Where is he? Talk. Don't keep it in.
  20. Stop bullying. If you are being bullied, you can count on us. 0845 22 55 787
  21. Bullying. Why do it? What do they want from me? I am so confused.
  22. Don't let the bullies win.
  23. Don't let bullying get you down. Stop bullying.
  24. Mollie hated it. Tara and Tina did it to her every day. C.R.I.
  25. You can stop bullying if you C.R.I.
  26. Don't be cruel. Don't be afraid. Give bullying the boot.
  27. 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.
  28. Don't be afraid. Be happy. Do something about it. C.R.I.
  29. 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 suffering.
  30. Give bullies the boot.

PARENTS

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 situation.

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 every opportunity.

We may be able to refer you to a Family Law Solicitor or a Solicitor specialising in The Harassment Act.

CALLING 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'.

FINALLY

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

 

 

We are a voluntary organisation. We are members of the NCVO.

Updated 23-03-2012