anti-bullying week athona education

Anti–Bullying Week is being recognised from 15th – 19th November in 2021. The week raises awareness of the impact and effects of bullying along with ways on how to prevent and deal with bullying. This year the theme for Anti–Bullying Week is ‘One Kind Word’, which promotes the idea of building culture and kindness in schools and other places where bullying may take place.

What is bullying?

The term ‘bullying’ means to cause harm, force and intimidate victims for no apparent reason. Bullying is a short term problem which occurs in small places such as schools and colleges. It can cause significant trouble for a child throughout their education and impact their ability to learn and lead a successful life post – education. Teachers can learn to spot the signs of bullying and intervene.

Categories of bullying:

  • Physical – attacking the victim physically
  • Verbal – name calling
  • Indirect – spreading rumours about the victim

A lot of people think of bullying as pushing, shoving and intimidation. According to a study by Dave.org, 18.5% of bullying is indirect. In March 2020, one in five children in the UK have experienced online bullying, which is equivalent to 764,000 children.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying which takes place over digital devices, like phones and computers. Cyberbullying often occurs on social media and gaming rooms, often places where others can join in. When you cyberbully someone you are posting/sharing negative, false and hurtful content about someone else.

Effects of bullying

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Low self – esteem
  • Absence from school
  • Low academic achievements
  • Health problems

What can schools do?

Addressing the students’ intentions is one solution. Often bullies are suffering from mental health issues which may be hidden. Other factors could be neglect from home or other family members. There are a few things which schools can do to prevent/decrease bullying:

  • School anti–bullying programmes and anti–bullying resources for students and teachers
  • Appropriate behaviour management and punishment
  • Workshops and online training

Anti–Bullying Week provides us with an opportunity to send a clear and positive message that bullying of any sort is not acceptable and when it happens we have the right to address it.

The National Bullying Helpline, which supports both child and adult bullying have a hotline for anyone who should need it.