Anti-bullying week is upon us and schools will be taking action to highlight the effects of bullying and, more importantly, offer some solutions as to what pupils and staff can do about it. Helping individuals to understand that bullying is a serious form of abuse encourages them to speak out sooner, to seek help and to protect themselves and others from the devastating effects of bullying.
The more traditional forms of bullying are still prevalent but in recent years there has been a huge rise in cyber bullying. Cyber-bullying can come from individuals or groups, via the internet through social networking sites, and targeting the victim direct through texting and e-mailing. The initial findings of a study conducted by the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), worryingly highlight the extent of bullying, cyber-stalking and unwanted sexual attention online. In these instances, bullying can also include aggressive language, threats, blackmail, racism, sexism and homophobia - often causing victims to self-harm and, in the worst cases, to take their own lives.
Since 2006, the Education Inspections Act has made it the legal responsibility of every headteacher to ensure their school's behavioural policy addresses the prevention of bullying in all forms. This is a huge responsibility and cannot be taken lightly. Have you taken time recently to consider how your school is confronting bullying?
Throughout Anti-Bullying Week 2012, Bully Watch, the anti-bullying experts, will be providing us with five tips (one per day) that you can follow or use as a basis to help form your own school anti-bullying plan.