In the UK alone, 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18. Studies have found that adults who experienced bullying as children are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with serious health problems, while often having lower academic qualifications and earning less money.
This week is Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA). The theme this year is “Change Starts With Us”.
“Whether it is verbal, physical, online or in-person, bullying has a significant impact on a child’s life well in to adulthood,” says the ABA. “By making small, simple changes, we can break this cycle and create a safe environment for everyone. Because together, we can challenge bullying. Change starts with a conversation. It starts with checking in. It starts with work together. Change starts here. Change starts now. Change starts with us.”
Remember, if anyone you know is being bullied or has been bullied, try to get them to talk to a teacher or a loved one about their situation. They do not have to suffer alone, and there may already be systems in place at your school to tackle the problem. You can also try contacting Childline at 0800 1111.
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In this emotional video, former victims of bullying talk about the insults that were used against them in school. (Warning: offensive language.) What changes could be made to stop similar things happening in future?
- Take it in turns to suggest other changes that you and your classmates could make to end bullying.
- As a class, write a contract that students should sign to refrain from bullying in your school. What terms should be included?
- Make an anti-bullying poster on the theme of “Change Starts With Us”.