By GRAHAME ANDERSON
Anti-Bullying Week message all about being yourself
The thought of being bullied has left many children trying to either hide or change the way they look according to a recent major survey. Research carried out by the Anti-Bullying Alliance based at the National Children’s Bureau, has revealed half of eight to 16-year-olds worry about being seen as different to others.
The Clear Evidence
The advent of Anti-Bullying Week (13-17 November), has also seen 40 per cent of youngsters admitting they would hide or change aspects of themselves for fear of being bullied. A staggering 41per cent of children admitted they would keep quiet if someone else was being bullied, for fear of being bullied themselves. The study also revealed 36 per cent of individuals didn’t learn enough in school about what they should do if if happens to them personally.
The poll conducted by OnePoll last month involving 1,600 children in England, highlighted the fact bullying is still a worrying problem, as individuals are encouraged to be themselves regardless of background or creed. What’s more, it seems those at primary school have only marginally different views to pupils at secondary school. This gives credence to the belief bullying behaviour can start at an early age. Martha Evans, Coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, told Asian Sunday: “This poll shows some children are worried about being themselves for fear of bullying. They worry about many things that might make them ‘stand out’ including their appearance, disability, culture, or religion. It is so important that we learn to celebrate the things that make us all different, and are clear that it is never OK to bully someone.”
The Anti-Bullying Message
During Anti-Bullying Week, supported this year by award winning British technology company SafeToNet, children in schools across the country will be sending the message loud and clear, that they are ‘All Different, All Equal’. “We’re all different, this is a defining trait of being human and young people as they grow and mature should not be bullied for what makes them different’” added Richard Pursey, CEO of SafeToNet. “Social Media and the internet have many benefits, but young people tell us they are often worried about the additional pressures to be or look a certain way, that the online world brings. SafeToNet is committed to helping create an environment where children who currently choose to hide aspects of their developing personality, can use amazing online resources, without fear of bullying.”
An Important Alliance
The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) is a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, working together to reduce bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. ABA is hosted by the National Children’s Bureau. It’s patron is children’s television star and front-man of children’s rock’n’roll band Andy and the Odd Socks, Andy Day. He’s getting children talking about celebrating what makes everyone unique in a fun way by encouraging children to wear odd socks on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week. The aim is both to raise money for anti-bullying charities and celebrate ‘Odd Socks Day’. Andy and the Odd Socks new single ‘Unique’ is being released to mark the beginning of Anti-Bullying Week 2017. He told us: “Our songs are all about being unique and appreciating others unique qualities. We are in a privileged position enabling us to influence younger children’s behaviour for good. Odd Socks Day is such a simple awareness raiser and we really hope schools will get on board.”
The Powerful Conclusion
Bullying is never OK, and you should always speak to an adult you trust if it is happening to you or someone you know. You can also call Childline for advice on 0800 1111.