Scottish Executive has set out a vision for a new anti-bullying
service which will "promote a positive ethos in school,
community and family life". This is an exciting challenge.
While the task of developing effective responses to bullying
in school settings is ongoing, the new service will also tackle
bullying in community and family settings.
course, the principles which underpin successful anti-bullying
ideas can be applied anywhere. The challenge is not to find
completely new ways to tackle bullying in different settings
(such "breakthroughs" usually turn out to be rather
similar to previous ideas) but to find better ways in which
professionals and others from a variety of backgrounds may
work together in the best interests of bullied children.
will not be easy. Parents, volunteers and groups of professionals
often have different viewpoints and ways of expressing themselves.
A successful approach to bullying in the community means that,
for example, professionals who believe in restorative practices
must be able to engage in respectful discussions with parents
who believe that bullies should be belted. Only through such
dialogues will attitudes change. Creating an ethos of tolerance
must be our starting point - even if our ambitions stretch
way beyond that.
us hope that all those involved in Scotland's new anti-bullying
service will mind the counsel of Viktor Frankl, an Auschwitz
survivor: "Being tolerant does not mean that I share
another's belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another's
right to believe, and obey, his own conscience."
is the last Anti-Bullying Network newsletter. We now pass
the baton to the new anti-bullying service with the hope that
the abuse and bullying of children will never go unchallenged
and the plea that those who share this aim will be tolerant
of each other's sincerely held views. It is the least we can
Anti-Bullying Network Manager