Bullying is a big part of school life whether we want it to be or not.
All over the world there are different cases of bullying, cyber, physical and verbal. Bullying is not just a problem for a minority of children; it is a widespread problem that can affect the environment of a whole school. According to Bullying UK’s 2006 National Bullying Survey, 69% of children in the UK report being bullied.
Beat Bullying gives some potential advice to young people about avoiding bullying. People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm and confidence. Awareness, calm and confidence means keeping one’s head up, back straight, taking assertive steps, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.
However, it’s not always that easy. We spoke to a teacher at Preston Lodge High School who was a victim of bullying in her past. Her experiences have changed dramatically. After experiencing physical and verbal abuse over a period of 4 years including broken ribs, clothes set on fire and stones thrown until drawing blood, the victim was naturally scared of attending school. However, she reflects: “I didn’t really want to stand out, I just wanted to be invisible, so I stuck back. Now I realise I am worth more than that and I have become a much stronger person, because of the bullying and I wouldn’t let that happen now.”
Indeed, bullying is a big part of school life. If you are being bullied, tell a friend, tell a teacher or parents. It won’t stop unless you do. It can be hard to do this so if you don’t feel you can do it in person it might be easier to write a note to your parents explaining how you feel.
Even celebrities have experienced bullying in their past. For example, Tom Cruise had moved schools fourteen times by the time he was 15 due to his dad moving around trying to find work. This was not the only problem – he was also dyslexic and because of moving around constantly, his social life suffered immensely. Dyslexia caused him to be bullied badly at school. He says the kids made fun of him, but the experience had made him tough inside and he learned to accept ridicule. He is now a famous movie star.
Shockingly, It is estimated that almost 170,000 children are absent from school because they fear being bullied. Last year 38 children committed suicide because of being bullied. 38% of young people have been affected by cyber-bullying. 38% of disabled children worried about being bullied. 18% of children and young people who worried about bullying said they would not talk to their parents about it. Almost (46%) of children and young people say they have been bullied at school at some point in their lives. 25% of children say that teachers intervened in bullying incidents while 71% of teachers say they intervened. Multiple children have been ignored by teachers whilst being bullied. A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he/she grows .
Tragically, it’s not just the victim of bullying who suffers. It can also affect their family members too. Roger Crouch committed suicide at his home near Winchcombe, after son Dominic 15, died in May 2010. Mr Crouch killed himself after his son committed suicide. Dominic jumped off the top of a building near his school because he was bullied. Roger was found at his home on the 28th November 2011 by his wife Paola. This shows that bullying is a serious issue all over the world. Bullying now effects people from the age of 5 to the working age.
People are now risking their lives just because they’re being badly bullied and something has to be done.
We spoke to Ms Welch, one of the guidance teachers here at Preston Lodge to hear how bullying affects people at our own school.
Please click on the link below to see our interview!
By Brooke, Steven, Ellie, Megan, Georgia and Erin