Bullying thrives on secrecy, but
children are understandably nervous about telling adults, in case this
make it worse. Allocating time for talking openly about the issue of bullying, (outside a
specific incident) helps children share their own experiences as both
bullies and victims and establish a common ground. In discussion children
can see that nearly everyone occasionally resorts to using bullying
language or behaviour. Most people also have experiences of being on the
receiving end. Bullying rarely disappears if schools give tacit approval
by avoiding the issue or not making it clear that all children have a
right to protection from abuse.
1. A definition of bullying.
Protection, prevention and open
discussion about bullying form the basis of this approach. Specific
incidents are dealt with privately in a safe, listening, but challenging,
environment. (see p 4)
Bullying represents a wide range of
destructive behaviours, ranging from verbal taunting and ridicule to
physical assault. Bullying is an abuse of power and can only occur where
there is inequality. It is a serious threat to happiness and can have a
lasting effect on a child’s life. Solving the problem of bullying
children’s self esteem and control over themselves but lowering their chances of
gaining power over others.