In Merton, children and young people have:
- a right to be treated with dignity and respect
- a right to live in an atmosphere free from victimisation, discrimination, harassment and any other form of bullying behaviours
- a responsibility to promote care, respect and co-operation in their relationships
What is bullying?
- Bullying behaviour is usually repeated over time, and physically or emotionally hurts another individual or group.
- Bullying is behaviour that is intentional and usually repeated over time that physically or emotionally hurts another individual or group. One person or a group can bully others.
We need to address Bullying because our Young People tell us it’s a concern for them. Surveys have shown that a quarter of our children and young people report that they have experienced bullying.
Bullying is more often linked to issues related to gender, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation and looked after children. Data shows that these groups are more likely to be bullied. This is unacceptable.
Being bullied can seriously affect a young person’s physical and mental health. They can lack confidence, feel bad about themselves, have few friends and spend time alone. They may find it hard to face going to school and difficult to concentrate on their work. They may complain of various physical symptoms as a result of their upset. They may worry and try to avoid going to school. Others become very anxious, find it hard to sleep and may feel depressed, or even suicidal. These problems can carry on long after the bullying has stopped. Royal College of Psychiatrists website.
Advice for parents
If your child has been bullied:
- Talk calmly with your child about his/her experience.
- Make a note of what your child says, who was involved, how often it has happened, where it happened and what happened
- Reassure your child that he/she has done the right thing to tell you about the bullying
- Inform the school and make an appointment to see the teacher/ deputy head or head teacher
- Explain to your child that should any further incidents occur he/she should report them to a teacher immediately
- Do not approach the child doing the bullying or his/her family directly
If your child is bullying others:
- Talk to your child; explain that what he/she is doing is unacceptable and makes other children unhappy
- Discourage other members of your family from bullying behaviour or from using aggression or force to get what they want
- Show your child how he/ she can join in with other children without bullying
Virtual Behaviour Service
The Chaucer Centre,
Telephone: 020 8288 5612