This week – November 17th to 21st 2014 – is Anti-Bullying Week.
Bullying in all forms is something that, both as professionals and parents, we feel VERY strongly about. In this, we are far from alone.
The internet, so often at the root of the problems that children and teenagers experience, is awash with resources, examples and inspiration for anyone determined to stand up to bullies.
In putting together this blog post, we have listened and learned from people at the forefront for one reason or another. This is bullying through their eyes . . .
‘It’s so important that kids understand that bullying is never acceptable and that it’s OK to open up and talk about their experiences’. – Tinie Tempah, the rapper fronting ChildLine’s latest anti-bullying campaign.
‘Through repetition and social media, ‘banter’ has become an acceptable, friendlier-sounding term for bullying. I’m not being draconian. I just call kids out about their use of the word. It is important to think about the impact that words might have’. – Mike Stuchbery, the teacher from Norfolk who has banned the word ‘banter’ in his classroom.
‘It’s always traceable. Don’t think that you can get away with it because you really can’t. What I did was bullying. It was disgusting. Pathetic. Why did I have that much anger and aggression? I’m embarrassed’. – Isabella Sorley, the convicted Twitter troll, who went to prison for posting abusive messages.
‘I was terrified. I lost a stone in weight in a single week. I still get abuse and I sometimes think that the people responsible aren’t aware that I’m a human being. I don’t think they’d be saying these things if they could see my face’. – Caroline Criado-Perez, Isabella Sorley’s victim.
‘People were telling me to go and kill myself. I should get cancer. I’m ugly. I’m a terrorist. They’re going to kill me. I’d sit at home shaking like a leaf. Terrified about everyone I meet, everything.’ – Natalie Farzaneh, an 18-year-old trolling victim.
‘I see at first hand the damage and pain bullying can cause to a young person’s life. In some cases they’re too scared to leave the house. It’s important to let them know that help is available, no matter what they’re going through.’ – The ChildLine ambassador Anna Williamson.
‘This is a real issue that affects kids all across the UK, every single day. We all have it in us to help, simply by being friendly, kind and considerate to others.’ – Tinie Tempah.
‘We’re all getting used to social media and I think that, when you’re young, you’re less likely to think about long-term consequences and be able to empathise fully with other people. Young people need to have these things explained to them.’ – Caroline Criado-Perez.
‘It’s not always the stereotypical person from a broken home. I have a degree. I have 13 GCSEs. Be careful what you put on social media. There’s always a record’. – Isabella Sorley.
‘If we bury our heads in the sand, our children will find out how to conduct themselves online on their own and that’s much more risky. Teaching internet safety should be no less important than teaching road safety.’ – Andy Phippen, Professor of Social Responsibility in IT at Plymouth University.
‘Saying ‘It’s just banter’ makes it seem as if the problem rests with the person who has suffered the insult because they don’t get it, they’re not part of the joke. They’re realising that there is a line and the classroom is a nicer place as a consequence.’ – Mike Stuchbery.
‘Die, you worthless piece of crap. Go kill yourself. I’ve only just got out of prison and would happily do more time to see you buried. I will find you and you don’t want to know what I’ll do when I do. You’re pathetic. Kill yourself before I do. Rape is the last of your worries. I’d do a lot worse than rape you.’ – The tweets that Isabella Sorley sent to Caroline Criado-Perez.
Something to think about this Anti-Bullying Week . . .
* Is bullying affecting you, or someone you know? Please tell somebody. There are lots of groups, charities and organisations dedicated to helping.
* Need to contact CPUK? You can always give us a call on 07733 274522.