Nobody has the right to hurt other people by hitting them,
kicking them, calling them names, sending them threatening
text messages, spreading rumours about them or by doing anything
else which is intended to be upsetting.
People who bully try
to justify their actions by saying that it is the other person's
fault for being different. They may pick on someone who is
tall or small, or fat or thin, or wears glasses, or has a
different accent, or another religion, or is shy or clever,
or good looking, or disabled or…Any excuse will do, and if
there is no real difference then they will invent one.
If this is happening
to you, tell yourself that it is not your fault and that it
is the people who are bullying who need to change, not you.
you being bullied?
If you are being bullied here are some things you should do:
to someone you trust, such as a teacher, parent, older
relative or friend.
persistent. If the first person you talk to doesn't help
don't give up. Speak to someone else.
you can, write down everything that has been said or done
to hurt you. Try to write down how you feel. When you
have found someone you can trust, discuss what you have
written with that person. Be careful only to write down
things that have really happened.
the person you talk to not to do anything without telling
you about it first. You have a right to know what is being
done on your behalf and to say whether you think it is
a good idea or not.
you find it difficult to talk to an adult, ask one of
your friends to come with you, or ask someone to talk
to an adult on your behalf.
could telephone ChildLine (Freephone 0800 44 1111). Their
helpers provide a confidential counselling service for
young people in trouble or danger.
importantly, do something. Sometimes bullying stops quickly,
but doing nothing means it may continue until someone
is seriously upset or hurt. That could be you, or the
bullies may find someone else to pick on. If their behaviour
is not challenged they are unlikely to stop.
Here are some things
you should not do:
try to deal with the problem on your own. There is nothing
wrong with asking for help.
hit the people who are bullying you. You might end up
being accused of bullying yourself.
tell the truth about what has happened. Don't exaggerate.
If a small part of what you are saying is shown to be
untrue then it throws everything else into doubt.
hide what is happening from the adults you trust. Keeping
things secret is the bullies' biggest weapon. That is
why they go to so much trouble to stop you telling.
It can be really difficult not to join in when a group of
your friends is making fun of someone - but doing the right
thing is rarely easy. Even if you don't join in when you see
someone being bullied you may be playing a part in the bullying.
You see, part of the fun that people who bully get comes from
the reaction of bystanders. If you do nothing the bullies
may think that you approve of what they are doing.
Young people tell us
that what they most want from adults is respect. In fact all
of us, however old we are, want our rights to be respected
and none of us wants to be abused or picked on. We just want
others to be fair to us. People who try to earn respect by
frightening others or by being cruel to them end up being
disliked. Fear is the opposite of respect. To earn respect
we must show it to others.
You can help others
to respect you by:
- Challenging all bullying
- Avoiding racist or
- Joining a "buddy"
or peer support scheme.
- Raising the issue
of bullying with the student council (if your school has
one) or in class discussions in subjects like English, drama,
religious education, or social education.
- Taking part in your
school's anti-bullying activities such as designing posters
or carrying out surveys.
If you know someone
who is being bullied make sure that teachers know what is
going on. If the bully is an adult, talk to a teacher you
trust or to your parent.
If you do nothing it
could be your turn next.
Bullying is wrong whatever the age of the person who is doing
it. Adults can bully children in many different ways. If an
adult is doing something to you or trying to make you do something,
which you do not like, but you are not sure if this is bullying,
then you must talk to someone. If this is happening at school
you can talk to your parents. If this is happening at home
you could talk to a trusted teacher. Do not keep it a secret.
The only way to stop bullying is to talk openly about it.
Check out our website (you're surfing it right now!). It is
packed with advice, information and links.
Could Do This
If you live in Scotland and you cannot find someone to talk
to, you can phone the ChildLine Bullying Line on 0800 44 1111.
This is a free phone
service available from Monday to Friday from 3.30pm to 10.00pm
and Saturday and Sunday from 2.00pm to 8.00pm.
If you are in Scotland phoning outside these hours, or if
you live in some other part of the UK, you can phone ChildLine
on 0800 1111.
This is a free phone
service available 24 hours a day.
Any comments about this
information sheet should be directed to the Anti-Bullying
Network. It may be photocopied or reproduced for non commercial
use in schools and other educational establishments in Scotland
providing the Anti-Bullying Network is credited.