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Bullying – What’s Your Policy?

Bullying – What’s Your Policy?

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BullyingA new school year is starting and ‘bullying’ is a topic being hotly debated on TV and in media.  I’m always drawn to any discussions on bullying – anything which gets it out in the open is a good thing.

Back in junior school I was bullied; I know now that it said more about the bully than it did about me, but at that age it’s difficult to rationalise.  I was geeky, ginger; my parents didn’t have ‘normal’ jobs and were older than everyone else’s.  Oh, and I had a stutter too – marvellous!

Looking back, what the bullies targeted was my isolation.  My brother and sisters all went to completely different schools (and were much older); I wasn’t allowed to walk to/from school and seldom allowed to visit anyone’s houses/have friends to my house.  It’s far easier for the bully to target someone who is apart from everyone else – the fact I was ginger and stuttered was just a bonus.

I was lucky that a teacher realised what was happening and helped me.  My parents acted swiftly – teachers, the bullies (and their parents) were warned of the consequences of allowing it to happen.  I went to a different secondary school to the main bully and, after a shaky first year, thoroughly enjoyed my teenage years. Never a ‘cool’ kid, I revelled in my uniqueness and had an excellent group of mates.  Because I was supported, my confidence grew.  My stutter became an in-joke – a couple of years of speech therapy sorted it out; I regularly speak in public now, and only lapse when tired or stressed.

Bullying methods may have changed in the interim, with online bullying cases soaring – even bullying by text – but, from my perspective, the principle remains the same; isolate the target before attacking. 

There are so many online resources available which offer advice to people being bullied and to parents, there is NO excuse for anyone to not know what to do.  But how does your school track incidents and resolutions?  Are your Governors aware of their responsibilities?

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  • Mike Brennan
    Posted at 10:28h, 14 September Reply

    Great article Elaine.
    Cyber bullying – not just a school problem

    Social networking is a modern phenomenon that can enrich communication and build friendships globally that were unimaginable 20 years ago – let alone the growing impact for business. But it has a dark potential.
    I was told recently by a Headteacher of a large secondary school that whilst social networking was largely under control at school, it was the misuse at home (or out of school) that caused the most upset during school. Hours were spent trying to investigate comments and claims involving incidents that rarely occurred or began during school hours.
    Controlling this serious form of so called cyber bullying when it’s enacted over the Ethernet, as cowardly as ever, with the bullies hiding behind cruel lies, insinuation and gossip against their helpless victims is not easy

    How can we prevent this long lasting damage before the legacy is left to fester on its victims? It’s not possible to stop it all, but like traditional bullying, awareness and effort will go a long way. Involving and raising understanding with parents is more than ever a key requirement.
    Bullies need to shown how and what impact their actions have, innocent on or not. Parents must take responsibility for actions and not rely on the school to discover and solve the bullying.
    Support of parents, teachers and friends by following the wealth of advice is all part of reducing this social crime.
    There is loads of good advice to circulate and read by clicking on the links Elaine has collected and making the first step to helping a victim feel less alone and afraid by something they feel is beyond support.
    (taken from Lamphouse News Blog

  • Cyber bullying « Lamphouse's Blog
    Posted at 10:50h, 14 September Reply

    […] Modern Governor […]