Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Understanding Bullying

This Anti-Bullying Week, we want to shine a light on what bullying is, why people might become bullies and what we can do to express that we need help.

Did you know that bullying can come in many forms? It’s a behaviour that intentionally sets out to hurt or harm someone else, whether that is physical or psychological. It involves an imbalance of power, with someone, or a group of people who think they are more powerful than the person they want to harm, and more often than not, it is something that happens again and again.

Different types of bullying include: pushing, kicking, hitting, biting, pinching – physical actions; name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, belittling, threats – verbal actions; isolating others, hiding belongings, humiliation, intimidation, manipulation – emotional actions; unwanted physical contact, upskirting, homophobic abuse, exposure to inappropriate films – sexual actions; posting on social media, sharing photos without permission, sending nasty messages, being nasty online, creating mean TikTok videos – cyber bullying.

Banter can be bullying.

So why do people bully? It’s not an easy answer, and there may be a number of reasons why people become bullies. Did you know that bullying can begin as early as 3 years old? It can happen because of a feeling of jealousy, enjoyment of power over others, problems at home, not understanding how to cope with difficult emotions, wanting to be heard, low self-esteem and even self-defence.

But bullying is never ok.

Tell someone you trust. If you are experiencing any of the forms of bullying listed above, you can talk to a teacher or member of staff at the academy, and they’ll be able to help. We understand this might be hard and require some bravery, but we are here to listen and to help.

There are also a number of professionals you can go to outside of school too including:

·        NSPCC – 0808 800 5000

·        Young Minds

·        Kidscape

Tell your friends how you are feeling – it is so important to voice how you feel and work through what is happening and the impact on your wellbeing.

You may wish to ‘walk away’ – although sometimes this can be very hard and isn’t easy to do. In many cases, bullies react to how people respond, if you ignore it, there is a chance they may get bored and stop.

Report anything online to the appropriate people – you can do this through the social media/game platform itself, they all have buttons where you can report bullying or inappropriate accounts.

If you realise that you are the person who has been bullying someone else – there is help available too. By working with a trusted adult, including teachers, it might become clear what you are feeling that is driving this behaviour, and when you understand your behaviour, it is easier to turn it around and stop.

The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week is ‘One Kind Word’ – we would therefore like to end this blog piece by encouraging each of you reading to share a kind word with someone in your life today.

Hannah Skinner