Schools support anti-bullying campaign to be united against bullying

Schools across the country took part in a range of activities to mark Anti-Bullying Week to raise awareness about the impact of bullying.

Events were adapted in line with the social distancing measures in place due to the national lockdown.

The week began with an Odd Socks Day to celebrate individuality and to raise money for the campaign by collecting donations.

Anti-Bullying Week is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance launched by the NSPCC and the National Children’s Bureau in 2002.

A new NSPCC report shows more children are calling it’s counselling service ChildLine, for support with the effects of online bullying.

Darren Worth is a senior supervisor at ChildLine, he said: “We are seeing lots of different types of bullying behaviour online, whether that’s abusive threatening text messages on WhatsApp or various social networking sites, whether it’s people being excluded from group chats, whether they are being ignored or whether its happening in online activities or in friendship groups. 

“What we know is that these things have an enormous impact on children and young peoples emotional well being and mental health, and that can lead to challenging feelings, low mood, self harm and suicidal thoughts.”

Mr Worth said that social groups are very important to young people and this kind of experience can be very damaging.

Children may be more vulnerable to online bullying because they are spending more time online because of lockdown and lack of other activity.

However, there are some things they can do to protect themselves. 

Mr Worth said: “I think it’s really important for children that their online world is part of their family life.

“Being bullied is not your fault, it’s something that is happening to you, not something you are doing.”

Adults should look out for changes in the behaviour of a child for clues that they may be suffering from the impact of bullying.

The NSPCC recommends the following steps for parents;

T – talk about staying safe online

E – explore their online world together

A – agree rules about what’s ok and what’s not

M – manage your family’s settings and controls

At a time when people are forced to social distance and isolate, the theme for this year’s campaign brings a message to be united against bullying.

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