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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.
2. The climate in which bullying thrives.
3. An anti-bullying policy - protection and prevention.
4. Dealing with an Incident. Other resources available.

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 means raising children’s self esteem and control over themselves but lowering their chances of gaining power over others.