The Week of November 15-19 is Anti-Bullying Week
One Kind Word
The Anti-Bullying Alliance have created the Anti-Bullying Week movement to raise awareness on the occurrence that affects children (and adults) every day. Their goal is to spread positivity by using kind words with each other, because one kind word leads to another. Schools are one of the most common settings in which bullying can take place, and it is important that staff approach it with sensitivity.
The Anti-Bullying Week movement is predominantly based on social media. Sites like Twitter, TikTok and Instagram tend to be the most common tools for children and teenagers to find out about the latest trends and news. The Anti-Bullying Alliance aim to reach out to educate them about the effects of bullying through these platforms. They have reported that 30% of children have been bullied last year alone, and 17% of these children have experienced it online. This is approximately one child in every classroom.
The Anti-Bullying alliance also outline how bullying can significantly impact a child’s life long-term. For example, children that have been bullied are more likely to experience mental health issues, unemployment, or obesity. Additionally, they are less likely to obtain qualifications or have stable relationships. According to stopbullying.org, bullying may also increase feelings of sadness and loneliness, and change one’s sleep and eating patterns. These issues may also persist into adulthood.
Anti-Bullying Week invites people to get involved on social media to show support and raise awareness. They are offering schools free resources to plan lessons around bullying and its consequences. Monday, November 15 is Odd Socks Day, where people wear odd socks as a metaphor to advocate how unique and different we all are.
What can your school do to stop bullying?
Most schools proudly advertise their zero-tolerance policies on issues like bullying, but only a few commit to taking positive actions against it. At Eduspot, we are proud to promote inclusivity and positivity. Below, you can find our top tips for reducing and controlling bullying directly.
Be sure to treat every pupil equally
In the UK, our school communities are wonderfully diverse. It is important that every child is treated equally by staff and other students. However, these differences are often still the reason why bullying arises in schools, and it is important to tackle it early on.
For instance, there are certain stigmas in schools that can cause students to feel singled out due to their economic background. Some students and parents have reported not taking up free school meals for this reason. Adopting a tech solution would make school staff aware of the children who receive free meals and let them handle it with discretion.
Parents and guardians who do not have access to online banking should be able to pay for school services such as meals, clubs or trips in cash by using PayPoint. There should also be an option for carers to pay in instalments for big or small financial commitments, such as a school trip.
Let students know their mental health matters
Mental health is a very important issue that should be monitored in schools. Negative behaviour in young people can sometimes be caused by their emotional wellbeing. When it comes to bullying, children’s mental health can be impacted significantly. For instance, if a child is experiencing bullying (or even more likely, cyberbullying) they may have difficulties opening up about it to others. This can cause them to be stressed and react to impulses negatively or occasionally with violence. Pupils should have the chance to express their feelings instead of bottling them in.
It is essential that school staff take action when someone is being bullied or is actively bullying someone else. Something that can help schools would be finding a way to track children’s behaviour and mood, to then overview it over time. It is also important that school staff keep parents and guardians informed if a child is feeling stressed, is acting differently, fighting with others or causing trouble. Every slight change in a child’s behaviour could mean they are struggling with something.
A creative way to connect with your students is through anonymous forms for them to complete to find out if there is anything they may not want to speak about. Through our communications tool Messenger, there is an option to create form templates and send them to students. It is an effective way to receive feedback without the need to ask children questions that may make them uncomfortable.
Make sure you get involved in the Anti-Bullying Week movement by sharing your support on social media.
Data reported by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.