Do you know people who bully others?
Of course you do - we don't know a school where there aren't some boys or girls who get their enjoyment from making others miserable. Bullying happens when someone hurts another, over and over and sometimes bullies choose physical ways to hurt or they may tease in a mean way by name calling or getting everyone to gang up with hateful remarks. Some bullying is a result of prejudice and can be unlawful.
Another kind of bullying behaviour is excluding people by using emotional upset to hurt others for example, a group of girls may roll their eyes and move away from another girl causing her to feel isolated. Using the web or mobiles' cameras or texting to promote bullying is known as cyberbullying, and can have serious consequences in law.
Bullying is never acceptable - it is a violation of children's rights. Children who are bullied often lose their confidence and climb into a shell, or are so afraid, they stop going to school or begin to believe the hurtful things that have been said. They may get sad and depressed, and start to hurt themselves. Bullying can have very serious consequences. And no school is a happy school when these attacks begin - some people may even join in the bullying out of fear.
What can you do?
Make up your mind that it is time to tell, and to get some adults to help you. The law states that it is your right to be safe in school and bullying behaviour can be and should be challenged.
Bullying behaviour can be difficult to address, but there are adults who can help you if feel bullied. Perhaps you can help your school make changes to protect everyone. Try these organisations for some suggestions. The links will take you to external websites.
Kidscape Established to prevent bullying and keeping children safe
Respect Me Scotland's Anti Bullying Service - Provides information about bullying and how it can be tackled
Parentline Plus helpline: 0808 800 2222
Advisory Centre for Education (advice for parents and children on all school matters) 0808 800 5793
Scottish Child Law Centre - free legal advice for and about children.
There are some other helpful websites at the links below.
If you want to talk to someone you can speak to a Social Worker at the Social Work Services Contact Centre on 03451 551503