|What can young people do?
A message from Cameron Wyatt of Bannerman High School, Glasgow, who was a
member of the conference committee.
"Remember that action against bullying
is not just for you but for every pupil in every school. You can make a difference. Don't
simply rely on your teacher. You too can help others by applying the ideas in this
newsletter to your school's situation. Bring these ideas to the attention of your head
teacher, guidance staff or anyone who will listen.
The victims of bullying are often too scared
to come forward. Their confidence has been sapped. Their ability to speak out removed.
You still have a voice. And, hopefully, this
newsletter will remind you to use it".
Other members of the Conference
Craig Cheyne, Bannerman High School
Mark MacMillan, Dunblane High School
Helen Onslow, Dunblane High School
Aimee McKimmie, Dundee City Wide Pupil Council
Paul Cargill, Lawside Academy, Dundee
Stephanie MacGregor, Lawside Academy
David Bernard MSYP, Tynecastle High School
Sandy Clarke, Dundee City Council
Phillipa Prior, Anti-Bullying Network
Andrew Mellor, Anti-Bullying Network
What do you think?
Jack McConnell MSP, Minister for Education, Europe and
External Affairs, wants pupils in Scottish schools to give him their views about how
bullying and poor discipline can be tackled. Send your ideas to the Anti-Bullying Network.
We will make sure that Mr McConnell hears what you have to say.
"You have a large part to play to ensure that the
bullies don't get away with their poisonous behaviour. Don't let them wreck your
education. Don't let them wreck anyone else's. Let's all help each other to tackle this
hard and head on.
I can tell you what we are doing to try and combat this
scourge but I also want your views. I want to hear about your experiences and ideas, about
the solutions you have for dealing with bullying and poor discipline. Whether it is
bullying in the classroom, bullying in the playground, bullying in the corridors, bullying
on the way to or from school. We are on the right road, but there is still a long way to
go, and your ideas can help.
I believe every school must be a safe school. Every child is
entitled to go through their school years without their experiences being blighted by
bullying. But these are complex issues. Solutions will be many and varied and they will
not be found overnight".
Question Time with Jack McConnell
A question and answer session with Mr Jack McConnell MSP, Minister for Education, Europe
and External Affairs took place at the conference. Here is a taste of what went on....
Q: Do you think that the Anti-Bullying Network is the
best way to tackle bullying in our schools?
Steven Robbins, 17, Trinity Academy, Edinburgh
A: "The Anti-Bullying Network is doing some sterling work in supporting schools and
authorities to share good practice. Today's conference is a good example. It also provides
training and consultancy services to support schools and local authorities in developing
anti-bullying strategies. Good ideas for tackling bullying should be shared between
education authorities. All Scottish local authorities should avoid complacency about the
Q: Solving the problem of bullying takes resources eg
money, people, time. How would you propose to fund these?
Neil Paterson, 16, Buckie Community High School
A: "The SEED will monitor the effectiveness of anti-bullying schemes to ensure
that funding is best spent. Throwing money at the problem is not necessarily the answer. I
am pleased to announce the we (SEED) will continue to offer financial support to ensure
the continuation of the ChildLine Anti-Bullying Helpline. This is a free confidential
telephone helpline for any child or young person concerned about bullying."
Q: Have you ever experienced bullying at school or
Paul Eason, 15, Kirkland High School and Community College, Leven
A: Mr McConnell said that he had not been bullied at school but was aware of people who
had. He said "The fact that none of us seemed to do very much about it when it was
happening to them (other pupils) is something to be very much ashamed of. I don't mind
admitting that now, 23 years on, and I hope that this generation of senior school pupils
is a bit more responsible than mine was."
Q: What do you think is a suitable punishment for
Michelle Gilbert, 17, Trinity Academy, Edinburgh
A: In dealing with bullying, victims should be put first but perpetrators may need
counselling as well as punishment. Experience has shown that punishment alone leaves the
bully free to continue with his or her behaviour. Bullies should be encouraged to change
for the sake of their schools and themselves.
Q: Do you think that there is a specific role that
senior pupils can take on board to help create a positive atmosphere for junior students?
If so, what?
Kerry Reid, 16, Buckie Community High School
A: "Peer support schemes are a welcome development. Involving pupils can have an
immediate impact on the problem and has long term benefits in building better citizens for
the future. Senior pupils can have a key role to play in supporting the younger
We want to know your opinions and ideas
about how schools can reduce bullying, so why not email
Opinions and ideas were generated at the conference when delegates compared the
anti-bullying policies and procedures in their own schools with a case study. Delegates
then commented on the strengths and weaknesses of current anti-bullying policies, and were
asked to make recommendations for the future.
A full report of delegates' views has been sent to Jack McConnell MSP and can be viewed here.
Here is some of what was said at the conference. What do you think?
Some of the strengths of anti-bullying policies in some Scottish secondary schools were
- schools are now recognising bullying problems
- there is more communication than there used to be
Some of the weaknesses of anti-bullying policies in some Scottish secondary schools were
- most schools tend to concentrate on 1st year pupils. What happens to 2nd, 3rd, 4th year
- weak, out-of-date policies, not distributed or discussed comprehensively
Some of the recommendations made by delegates:
- teachers and senior pupils should give up time - patrol corridor, earn respect - show
- guidelines to be set nationally by Scottish Executive (to include buddy scheme)
- need to keep statistics to measure progress
- need to have some more consideration/publicity about situation of teachers bullying
pupils and pupils bullying teachers
- address racial issues - including Scottish nationalism against English
- better publicity - more 'in your face', use celebrities.
Vote in our online poll!
Does your school have good strategies for preventing bullying?
(Question for pupils and parents)
Results updated instantly!!
Five workshops took place at the conference.
These allowed pupils and teachers from a number of schools to discuss approaches to
dealing with bullying.
Childline peer counselling
ChildLine has a special project involving volunteer 16-19 year old
counsellors. ChildLine also has exercises aimed at changing young people's attitudes to
bullying and finding out what they feel about how this issue should be dealt with in
Pupils take the lead in dealing with bullying
(Balerno High School)
Balerno High School has a long-standing peer support scheme which is run
and managed by senior pupils. Staff offer support but allow the young people to take the
lead in implementing and evaluating the scheme.
Tackling bullying by focusing on solutions
S6 FAB (Friends Against Bullying) befrienders talked about their role in the
school's anti-bullying policy. S1 and S3 pupils talked about their involvement in the FAB
Training peer supporters
For the past 6 years, S5/6 volunteers have been trained in interpersonal skills
as part of the school's peer helper scheme. Pupils have been involved in evaluating and
modifying the scheme.
A befriending service on the Intranet
Intranet befriending is a new system whereby pupils can e-mail S6 befrienders who
have been trained to respond.
Feelings about bullying can be explored through music, drama
Drama by St Margaret Mary's RC
Secondary School, Glasgow
Music by Baldragon High School, Dundee
There was a debate of high quality on the motion "Bullying
will never be reduced without meaningful pupil participation".
David Bernard, an MSYP from Edinburgh chaired the debate. The motion was proposed by David
McLean and by Alix Thomson. It was opposed by James Peter Campbell and by Sarah Nisbet.
The motion was overwhelmingly carried.