Anti-Bullying Week 2012: 19-23 November

Anti-Bullying Week for 2012 takes place 19 to 23 November.  The theme for this year is “We’re better without bullying” which shines a light on the effect of bullying on achievement. We know that bullying can lead to children missing school, failing exams, dropping out of sport, avoiding extra-curricular activities and limiting their life choices and through this year’s theme the Anti-Bullying hopes to:

  • Raise awareness of the affects of bullying on the achievement of children and young people
  • Encourage children and young people to challenge bullying that takes place in their schools and clubs, and to support one another to achieve their best
  • Encourage schools and clubs to create environments where bullying is not tolerated and where all children and young people feel encouraged and supported to take part
  • Work with schools and other youth club providers to empower children with special educational needs and disabilities to take an active role in developing anti-bullying policy and practice in schools and clubs
  • Raise the esteem and resilience of children and young people who have been victims of bullying.

About the Anti-Bullying Alliance

The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), part of leading charity the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), co-ordinates Anti-Bullying Week. ABA is made up of around 140 organisations and its aim is to create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

Every year ABA runs a national awareness-raising week – Anti-Bullying Week – to increase awareness of bullying and the damage it can cause to children and young people. ABA wants to ensure that the whole community – teachers, parents and children and young people, have the skills and knowledge to address bullying effectively.

The ABA School and College Network

The ABA School and College Network has been created to meet the specific needs of those working in the education sector.  To find out how you join the hundreds of schools who are now active members of the ABA visit our website.

Tips for children and young people

Here are some specific things you can say to a young person facing bullying

  • Bullying is not your fault. It is always wrong and you do not have to put up with it.
  • Let someone know what is happening as soon as possible. Talk things through with a friend, your family, or your teachers.
  • Do not do or say anything in response to the bully. Stay calm and remove yourself from the situation wherever possible. If it is happening through your phone or the internet, keep a copy of the messages or images but do not reply or respond.
  • Keep a note or a diary of what is happening.
  • Be confident – you have done nothing to deserve this.
  • Be assertive.
  • You could say ‘This is not funny. This is bullying. This is wrong.’
  • Think who can help you – young people or adults.
  • Seek help from other young people e.g. school might have a peer mentor or buddy scheme
  • Say to someone ‘Please would you watch what is happening here’ and ask them to help you report the incident.
  • Sometimes it can help to talk to someone outside of the situation. You could call ChildLine on 0800 11 11.

Tips for parents/carers

  • If you think your child is being bullied, don’t panic– try to keep an open mind: Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken. Provide a quiet, calm place where they can talk about what is happening.
  • Listen and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do: It may not be easy for a child to talk about being bullied so it is important to try to find out how they are feeling, what has happened, when and where. Though at this stage it is not so much about establishing a set of facts as encouraging, talking and listening.
  • Assure them that the bullying is not their fault and that you are there to support them: remind them that they can also have the support of family and friends.
  • Find out what the child or young person wants to happen: help them to identify the choices available to them and the potential next steps to take; and the skills they may have to help solve the problems.
  • Discuss the situation with your child’s school: the law requires all schools to have a behaviour policy which sets out the measures that will be taken to encourage good behavior and respect for others and to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. Parents can get advice and support through Family Lives – 0808 800 2222

 

Tips for parents/carers to help spot the signs of bullying

You may be unsure if your child is being bullied. If you suspect that this may be happening, look out for the following signs. You may see one or more signs, for example your child could:

• Show signs of stress – being moody, silent or crying, or bullying a younger sibling or friend

• Make excuses to miss school, such as stomach complaints or headaches (or your child may be skipping school altogether)

• Seem upset after using the internet or mobile, or change their behaviour – for example, no longer wanting to look at new text messages immediately –and be secretive and unwilling to talk about their online activities and phone use

• Be withdrawn in their behaviour

• Have more bruises or scrapes than usual

• Change their eating habits

• Have torn clothes, school things that are broken or missing, or have ‘lost’ money

• Sleep badly

• Wet the bed.

There could be other reasons for these signs, so you need to ask yourself:

  • Could there be anything else bothering your child?
  • Could there be changes in your family life like a new baby, or divorce or separation that may be affecting your child’s behaviour?

Help Organisations  and advice on bullying

ChildLine

ChildLine is the UK’s free, confidential helpline for children and young people. Trained volunteers are on hand to provide advice and support, by phone and online, 24 hours a day. Call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk.

CyberMentors

CyberMentors is a safe social networking site providing information and support for young people affected by bullying. Young people aged 11-25 are trained as CyberMentors in schools and online, so that they can offer support and advice to other young people. CyberMentors are also supported by trained counsellors, who are available online if needed.  For more information and free CyberMentors resources for teachers visit www.cybermentors.org.uk.

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