‘Choose Respect’ – Anti-Bullying Week 2018
Published on 12/11/18
The vast majority of adults will probably remember a time in their life when they have either been bullied themselves or seen bullying take place. This could have been in school, at work or somewhere else entirely. There are also some adults who may, at one stage or another, have been a perpetrator of bullying in one form or another.
Bullying is unfortunately an extremely common issue and whilst there are many campaigns and awareness events out there to highlight bullying – as well as PSHE lessons and targeted messages in schools - it is still sadly a frequent occurrence, especially amongst children and young people.
What is Bullying?
The Oxford English Dictionary categorises bullying as ‘when individuals or groups seek to harm, intimidate or coerce someone who is perceived to be vulnerable’ and the NSPCC have advised that It can ‘involve people of any age, and can happen anywhere – at home, school or through technology (cyberbullying)’.
Bullying can be verbal, physical, emotional, online or a mixture of all of the above. It can feel never-ending and can have serious, long-term effects on the victims such as depression, sadness, self-harm, social isolation and low self-esteem.
When a child is being bullied, they may withdraw into themselves, not want to go to school or may change – physically or emotionally.
Recent research has shown that more than half of the children in England and Wales have been bullied about their appearance and that in 2017, almost half of all girls and 40% of boys received harassment online or have been bullied on social media.
‘Choose Respect’ this Anti-Bullying Week
Anti-Bullying Week 2018 runs from the 12th to the 16th November and the theme chosen by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) for this year’s awareness campaign is ‘Choose Respect’.
The dictionary definition of respect is; ‘due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others’ and the ABA are hoping to highlight the importance of respect this week, along with the knowledge that bullying is a ‘behaviour choice’; something which can be controlled by an individual.
The aim of ‘Choose Respect’ is to ensure that children and young people understand and are aware that, whilst they may not particularly like someone or agree with their ideas, they must respect their viewpoints and their right to feel, act and live the way that they choose.
Odd Socks and Stop. Speak. Support
On Monday 12th November, schools across the country will be participating in ‘Odd Socks Day’ to show support and raise awareness for the campaign and on Thursday 15th November, the charity will be hosting its first ever anti-cyberbullying day ‘Stop Speak Support’ which is designed to specifically target the ever-increasing issue of Cyberbullying.
The Stop, Speak, Support campaign has been created in conjunction with the Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying (established by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry) and aims to encourage young people to take three simple steps when they see online bullying; Stop. Speak. Support.
These events can help get schools and colleges talking about bullying; the effects, the causes and ways to stop it, as well as giving students the resources they need, should they feel that they are being bullied – in person or online.
What To Do If Someone Is Being Bullied
The NSPCC stress that, if a bullying incident has occurred, that you:
- listen to all the children involved to establish what has happened
- record details of the incident and any actions you've taken
- inform your nominated child protection lead
- inform parents and carers (unless doing so would put a child at further risk of harm)
- provide support to the child/children being bullied, children who witnessed the bullying and the child/children who has been accused of bullying
- ask the child/children who have been bullied what they would like to happen next
- consider appropriate sanctions for children that have carried out bullying
- continue to monitor the situation even if the situation has been resolved.
The above guidance has been copied from the NSPCC website and we would recommend visiting their website here to ensure that this is still in line with the latest guidance.
To help your school get involved, we’ve compiled a handy list of resources for you to use during Anti-Bullying week this November (and any time after):