Bullying is NOT ok in any form. Being a foster child can single you out for bullying, I know it happened to me. Kids who bully use their power, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing or private information and  popularity to control or harm others.

There are a lot of statics regarding bullying in the UK and unfortunately bullying is usually only reported in the media when a suicide of a young person happens, which in my opinion should not be the case. Research from the Department of Education looking at pupils in year 10 found that:

  • 40% of young people have been bullied in the last 12 months
  • 6% of all young people have experienced bullying daily. 
  • Most common form of bullying was name calling (including via text and email) at 26%, followed by exclusion from social groups at 18%
  • 21% of children who had experienced bullying daily had truanted in the last 12 months  – 3 times the proportion of those who were not bullied.  Young people who have experienced bullying daily are most likely to truant for the longest period of time. Girls almost twice a likely to truant because of bullying than boys. 
  • 24% of children bullied most days also most likely to be kept off school by their parents.
  • 15% of children who have experienced bullying daily have been excluded from school in the last 12 months (compared to 5% of children not bullied)
  • 1 in 4 young people with SEN (special educational needs) experienced violence (actual or threatened)

These figures tell a story, which is a horror story so let’s have a look at some different types of bullying and how you can help yourself.

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumours about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

  • Hitting/kicking/pinching
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
  • Text messaging and messaging apps on mobile or tablet devices
  • Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online chatting over the internet
  • Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit
  • Email
  • Online gaming communities, such as Call of Duty communities

Racial bullying is where someone’s bullying focuses on your race, ethnicity or culture.

Racism and racist bullying can include:

  • Being called racist names or being sent insulting messages or threats
  • Having your belongings damaged or having to see racist graffiti
  • Personal attacks, including violence or assault against you or your family
  • Being left out, treated differently or excluded because of your colour, race or culture
  • People making assumptions about you
  • Being made to feel like you have to change how you look
  • Racist jokes, including jokes about your colour or nationality.

Who Is at Risk

Everyone is,  there is not a single factor that puts someone at risk of being bullied. Bullying can happen anywhere, any place, anytime to anyone.  Some groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ)  people with disabilities, socially isolated, skin colour, religion or beliefs may be at an increased risk of being bullied.

What Can You Do? – Remember the three R’s

  • Recognise – Here are some signs to look out for

Changes in sleep and eating patterns, Frequent tears or anger, Mood swings, Feeling ill in the morning, Become withdrawn or starts stammering, Becomes aggressive and unreasonable, Refuses to talk about what is wrong, Begins to target siblings, Continually ‘loses’ money or starts stealing, Has unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches, Comes home with missing or damaged belongings or clothes

  • Report – Who to report it to and the possible outcomes.

You should report bullying to your school in the first place, or someone you trust if it happens outside school, for example your parents, your social worker or someone you trust. Tell the police if the bullying involves a crime. School may deal with bullying in different ways, depending on how serious the bullying is they may deal with it in school, for example by disciplining bullies, or they might report it to the police or social services. All discipline must take account of special educational needs or disabilities that the pupils involved may have. If you are reporting cyberbullying, keep a record of the date and time of the calls, emails or texts – don’t delete any messages you receive.

  • Refuse – Do not be a bully bystander.

Most bullying will not occur if the bully doesn’t have an audience.

  • Do not Laugh if someone is being teased
  • Do not go to watch a school fight
  • Do not participate in sending hurtful messages
  • Do not allow students to be singled out
  • Do not laugh at inappropriate jokes
  • Do not forward private messages to others
  • Do not participate in spreading rumours
  • Do not stand by and do nothing.
  • Remember to keep yourself safe.

Say no to bullying, be smart, be safe.

The Nameless Onion.

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