Bullying at School

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Bullying at School
ADVICE FOR FAMILIES

Andrew Mellor

The Scottish Council for Research in Education

Acknowledgement Grateful thanks are offered to everyone who has helped by providing advice, information and comments during the preparation of this booklet. Particular thanks are due to Rosemary Wake, Meg Cowie and Catherine Hart, who have played a crucial part in the production of both the original and this new edition. SCRE Publication No 139 First published 1993 Revised edition 1997 ISBN 1 86003 035 1

The booklet also forms part of a pack for schools called Supporting Schools Against Bullying. Also in the pack are a booklet for headteachers, information sheets and discussion materials. It aims to encourage the whole school community to work together to fight bullying. Further information may be available on SCRE’s Website at http://www.scre.ac.uk All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Design and typesetting by SCRE Information Services. Printed and bound in Great Britain for the Scottish Council for Research in Education, 15 St John Street, Edinburgh EH8 8JR, by Macdonald Printers (Edinburgh), Edgefield Road, Loanhead, Midlothian.

Contents
Taking action against bullying ........................................ 1 What is bullying and what can you do about it? .............. 2 Contacting the school ..................................................... 3 Being bullied .................................................................. 4 Words hurt ..................................................................... 5 Families can help ........................................................... 6 Spotting the signs of bullying ......................................... 7 But he doesn’t want me to go to the school ..................... 8 Brothers, sisters and friends .......................................... 9 Bullying others ............................................................. 10 What can you expect the school to do? ......................... 11 Problem areas – in school and out .......................... 12–13 If your school seems to be doing nothing ...................... 14 Ways schools react to bullying incidents ................. 15–17 Preventing bullying ....................................................... 18 Joint action – schools and families ......................... 19–21 Starting at a new school ............................................... 22 Schools outwith local authority control ......................... 23 Help and advice beyond the school ......................... 24–26 Last resort action ......................................................... 27 Reading about bullying ........................................... 28–29

(iii)

“Bullying cannot be stopped by pupils, parents or teachers acting alone.”

Taking Action Against Bullying
Being bullied is a frightening experience. No-one likes to think that it will happen to them or to people they know and care about. But bullying does happen to some children and many more find themselves on the fringes of it by being aware that it is happening. Everyone can play a part in reducing the damage bullying does. Bullying cannot be stopped by pupils, parents or teachers acting alone. Schools are finding new ways of tackling bullying. All of these aim to get people talking about the problem and working together to find solutions. Although this is not easy, it is the only effective way to stop bullying. Young people who are being bullied feel powerless to stop it happening. They may be angry, frightened or bewildered. They are unable to concentrate on their lessons. Some pretend to be ill or truant because they are so frightened. A few have even taken their own lives. They lose confidence in themselves, and...
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