Advice for Dealing With Bullying
"If you are worried discuss this with a teacher."
Bullying is not easy to define. Sometimes it involves hitting or kicking. But threats, teasing, and taunting are more common and can be more damaging.
The word 'bullying' is used to describe many different types of behaviour ranging from teasing or deliberately leaving an individual out of a social gathering or ignoring them, to serious assaults and abuse. Sometimes it is an individual who is doing the bullying and sometimes it is a group.
The important thing is not the action but the effect on the victim. No-one should ever underestimate the fear that a bullied child feels.
This advice sums up the most important actions to take -
If someone in your family is being bullied at school - you have to do something to help: you must talk to a teacher.
If you are worried that someone in your family may be bullied - discuss this with a teacher.
If you want to help rid schools of bullying - work with the teachers to make schools safer and happier.
If you are not satisfied with the school's response, do not give up - other sources of help are available.
Support and understanding at home are important in helping people to cope with bullying - do all you can to help children and young people value themselves.
Children and young people who witness or become aware of bullying may be unsure what to do and whether they should tell someone. Make sure they know that they should talk to a parent or teacher, and why.
The key messages to get across to the person being bullied are:
It's not your fault that you are being bullied
You don't have to face this
From: Supporting Schools Against Bullying: The Second SCRE Anti-Bullying Pack (1993)
"When I was at primary school I got picked on non-stop for two years. No-one talked to me. I hadn't done anything to get blamed for, and I still don't know the reason I got picked on. I wasn't any wealthier or poorer or a different race.
I used to cry myself to sleep every night. I was miserable. My parents knew and they talked to the headmaster but he wasn't interested and said he couldn't do anything about it. My parents knew all the bullies' parents. One girl even lived in the same street and we had been friends since we were two. Like a sheep she dumped me because no-one else talked to me.
This all happened in primary 6 and I have lost nearly all my self-confidence and hate being on my own. I'd hate to think this was happening to anyone else. I have a fear that if one girl doesn't talk to me they will all start again and it will never stop. I don't want it to go on for the rest of my school life. I couldn't cope." (girl, 14)
"I have never actually set out to bully someone myself. It usually comes about when someone is being annoyed and provides an amusing reaction that I begin to join in. At the time you do not see it as bullying, although you may have doubts later. I do not think there is...