Bullying at School

Bullying happens to lots of people, so how can you deal with it?

  1. Speak out. Ensure that no-one can ignore the situation. Everyone should be aware of what is happening: subject teachers, parents, form tutors, Heads of Year, lunch time supervisors, school counsellors and peers. This will help everyone: you may be the target this morning, but it will be someone else this afternoon.
  2. There is strength in numbers. Seek out anyone else that the bully is picking on. Be supportive, move around together and watch each other’s backs.
  3. Report all unacceptable behaviour. Keep a record of the places, dates and times when bullying occurs, and the names of any witnesses. 
  4. Every school has an anti-bullying policy. Make reference to these policies when you complain. If you are not satisfied with the response, move your complaint up the school hierarchy: form tutor, Head of Year, Pastoral Head, Head teacher. 
  5. Bullying often starts with verbal harassment. If you act early to nip this in the bud, the bully is likely to move on. 
  6. Try not react. Walk away as if you haven’t even registered the bully’s presence. If you become distressed or agitated, the bully will feel that they have succeeded.
  7. Use avoidance strategies. Be too busy to be bullied: go to the school library at lunch time, attend subject surgeries, join a lunch time club, set up a lunch time club, or volunteer to look after younger pupils during break times.
  8. Bullies cannot cope with confident individuals. Act as if you are confident and assertive, even when you don’t feel it. Stand up straight, take up physical space, don’t be apologetic. 
  9. Take up Martial Arts. Martial Arts are not about aggression, but about self-control and inner confidence. Martial Arts will teach you to remain calm and composed, even when you feel frightened.
  10. Be proactive and informed. Ask other people how they have coped with similar situations. Read articles about bullying. Write a blog to share your experiences, or design anti-bullying posters to put up on classroom noticeboards.

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