Stay Safe Survey
Why do young people bully each other?
Who knows why young people do anything? When it comes to cyberbullying, they are often motivated by anger, revenge or frustration. Sometimes they do it for entertainment or because they are bored and have too much time on their hands and too many tech toys available to them. Many do it for laughs or to get a reaction. Some do it by accident, and either send a message to the wrong recipient or didn’t think before they did something.
Because their motives differ, the solutions and responses to each type of cyber-bullying incident has to differ too. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” when cyber-bullying is concerned.
A new survey, commissioned by legal experts Slater and Gordon and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, reveals that over half of children and young people in England (55.2%) accept cyber-bullying as part of everyday life, yet parents the people they are likely to turn to for help, feel ill-equipped to deal with the problem.
The Bully’s should know that:
You can get into a lot of trouble if you keep bullying others – you might get suspended or excluded from school or, in extreme cases, the police might get involved.
- Do not post personal information – keep information general.
- Think carefully about posting pictures online – once it’s there, anyone can see it or use it.
- Do not share your passwords – keep your personal information private!
- It’s not a good idea to meet up with anyone you meet online – you don’t really know who they are!
- Try to think carefully before you write things online – people can get the wrong end of the stick.
- Respect other people’s views – just because you do not agree with them, it does not mean you have to be rude or abusive.
What can you do to stop it?
You shouldn’t feel ashamed about being bullied. It’s not your fault – But it is important that you get help.
- Tell someone you trust
- Report any cyberbullying, even if it is not happening to you
- Never respond or retaliate as it could make matters worse
- Block the cyberbullies from contacting you
- Save and print any bullying messages, posts, pictures or videos
that you receive
- Make a note of the dates and times they are received
- Have fun…but surf the internet safely!
You don’t have to put up with being bullied. Always remember that it is not your fault.
Advice for Parents
- Be open
Bullying is a difficult subject to broach with your children, but being open, honest and approachable will make it easier for them to discuss their feelings.
- Don’t fly off the handle
You might feel angry if you discover your child is being bullied. But for some young people bullying brings on feelings of guilt and shame, so adding your own anger to the mix won’t help.
- Praise them for opening up
It’s not easy for children to admit out loud that they are being bullied, so praise them for taking that important step. Now they have spoken to you, you can support them in getting the help they need.
- Reassure them
Despite so many children going through it, there is still a huge stigma associated with bullying and sometimes youngsters feel as though it’s their own fault. Reassure your child that they are not alone – lots of celebs have been bullied, including Beatbullying ambassador and boxer Joe Calzaghe. They may also worry that the bullying may get worse if the bully finds out they have told someone, so reassure them that you want to help them and make things better.
- Get help from others
Encourage your child to report the problem to the most appropriate teacher at their school. You could also turn to Beatbullying for advice, and children, who often find it easier to talk about their problems to other youngsters, can go online for support at
Useful Links for Parents
Concerned parents and guardians should read our in depth advice on how to deal with bullying.
At Heath Park we are committed to doing everything we can to prevent bullying and to dealing with issues relating to bullying. We will never ignore bullying.
Challenging bullying effectively will improve the safety and happiness of students, show that the school cares, and make clear to those students who use bullying behaviour that their behaviour is unacceptable.
There are many definitions of bullying, but most consider it to be:
- Deliberately hurtful (including aggression)
- Repeated over a period of time
- Difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves against
Usually one student starts by bullying another. There are often other students present. These may:
- Help the child who is doing the bullying by joining in
- Help the bullying child by watching, laughing and shouting encouragement
- Remain resolutely uninvolved
- Help the child being bullied directly, tell children who are bullying to stop, or fetch an adult.
Any child can be bullied, certain factors can make bullying more likely:
- Lacking close friends in school
- Being shy
- An over-protective family environment.
- Being from a different racial or ethical group to the majority
- Being different in some obvious respect eg. stammering
- Having special educational needs or disability
- Possessing expensive accessories such as mobile phones or computer games.
Some children who are being bullied may behave passively or submissively, signalling to others that they would not retaliate if attacked or insulted. Others may behave aggressively provoking others to retaliate. Some students bully others and are bullied themselves. Verbal bullying is common amongst girls and boys, but boys tend to use more aggression. Girls are more likely to use indirect bullying which is far more difficult to detect.
Children who are being bullied are often reluctant to attend school, they may be more anxious and insecure, having fewer friends, feeling unhappy and lonely. They can suffer from low self-esteem and negative self image, looking upon themselves as failures – feeling stupid, ashamed and unattractive.
Children who are being bullied need help and support. In the majority of cases where children ‘tell’ the situation does improve. It is important that claims of bullying are taken seriously by everyone, as a half-hearted response will often make matters worse.
Bullying by text messages on mobile phones and social network sites is becoming an increasing problem. Students should be careful who they give their numbers to, and keep a record of the date and time of any offensive message. Messages that they are concerned about should be saved and shown to an adult. A serious case or an on-going situation should always involve the child’s family and the police.
There are 5 key points which help to combat bullying:
- Never ignore suspected bullying
- Don’t make premature assumptions
- Listen carefully to all accounts – several students all saying the same things does not necessarily mean they are telling the truth.
- Adopt a problem-solving approach which moves students on from justifying themselves
- Follow up repeatedly, checking bullying has not resumed.