What is bullying?
‘The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.’
Selston High School use the above definition of bullying which comes from the Anti-bullying Alliance – a charity which works with schools to reduce bullying and its impact in schools.
Find out more about the work of the Anti-bullying alliance here:
Cyberbullying is the term used for when the unpleasant behaviour occurs on line through social media or the web. It may involve unpleasant or threatening messages, group chats spreading rumours etc, unpleasant images or memes being shared. Even if the cyberbullying is taking place out of school the school will help your son/daughter with the issue.
Bullying is not the same as falling out with a friend or a one off unpleasant incident unless this is very serious in nature. This does not mean that these issues affect students and won’t be taken seriously by the school but we reserve the term bullying for behaviour which fits the definition above.
How to spot signs if you think your child is being bullied.
Children don’t always report that they are being bullied to school or their parents/carers. This is often because they fear the bullying will get worse if they do or the bully has threatened them. Evidence indicates that things will get better if adults intervene to support the child.
Some indicators that a child or young person may be being bullied or there may be another issue affecting their wellbeing are the following.
A child or young person who is being bullied may
- Be frightened of walking to or from school or begging to be driven to school.
- Be unwilling to go to school, or regularly feel unwell on school days.
- Change their route to school.
- Come home regularly with clothes or books damaged or destroyed.
- Become withdrawn, start stammering, become distressed or stop eating.
- Cry themselves to sleep or have problems sleeping
- Have nightmares and even call out “leave me alone”.
- Have unexplained bruises, scratches and cuts.
- Have their possessions go “missing”.
- Ask for money or begin stealing money (to pay the bully).
- Continually “lose” their pocket money.
- Refuse to say what’s wrong.
- Give improbable excuses to explain any of the above.
- Attempt self-injury.
- Have a desire to change school
- Avoid of particular lessons e.g. PE
- Cover up with clothing inappropriate to the weather
- Be reluctance to discuss the school day
- Become socially isolated e.g. refusing invitations, school trips
- Flinch from physical contact
If you notice one or more of these signs please don’t hesitate to contact your son/daughter’s tutor, Head of Year or a member of the SSC to discuss. Your son/daughter may ask that you don’t intervene however research indicates that where schools are informed of bullying incidents they are much more likely to stop than when the school is unaware.
Ten Top Tips for Parents/Carers if your son/daughter is being bullied
If your child is being bullied or you think they might be, here are some tips on how to support them.
- Don’t panic. Explain to the child that the bullying is not their fault and that you are there to help them.
- Ensure your child understands that bullying is never acceptable and should always be taken seriously. They have done the right thing by telling you.
- Try to establish the facts. It can be helpful to keep a diary of events or a bullying log which the school can provide you with.
- If the bullying is on line save or copy images and texts and then block all contact with the perpetrators. Encourage your son/daughter not to accept telephone calls or messages from unknown numbers.
- Find out what your child wants to happen. Help to identify steps you can take and the skills they have to help sort out the situation. Make sure you always keep them informed about any actions you decide to take.
- Do not tell your child to retaliate as this can have unpredictable results. Your child may get into trouble or get even more hurt.
- Role-plan non-violent ways they can respond to children that are bullying them.
- Show them how to block and unfriend people on line and help them identify other friends or adults who can support them – in school this could be their form tutor, the SSC, their Head of Year, a trusted friend or any member of the Senior Leadership team.
- Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place)
- Identify hotspots in terms of places where the bullying occurs and plan how to manage this e.g. different route home, support from a friend.
"Get some advice.
There are many organisations that can give you advice as well as the school"
How to report bullying
There are a number of ways you can report bullying to the school.
In person – encourage your son/daughter to speak to their tutor, Head of Year or go to the SSC before school, at break or lunchtime or after the school day.
In the bullying drop box – encourage your son/daughter to write a note, anonymous or named can be put in the anti-bullying drop box under the TV screen near room 16
Send a text to the following number: 01773 252012 - Please note this is not monitored 24 hours a day but only during school hours
By email – send an email to your son/daughter’s tutor, the SSC or Head of Year of Nigel Bailey the anti-bullying coordinator – this can sometimes be easier than talking to someone in the first instance
Report it yourself – even if your son/daughter asks you not to get in touch with any member of staff at school to report the issue
Click on the logo below to send an email to the SSC who will read it between the hours of 8am-3.30 on any school day.