Bullying Is Wrong
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.
Are you being
If you are being bullied here are some things you should do:
to someone you trust, such as a teacher, parent, older relative or
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
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
- Avoiding racist
or homophobic language.
- 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.
You Could Do
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
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.