Information for parents on bullying and cyber-bullying
If I feel my child is being bullied who do I report it to?
You should contact the school as soon as possible and report the incident(s) to your child’s Form Tutor.
My child has fallen out with her friend who has said some unpleasant things about her/him. Is this bullying?
Unfortunately, children do fall out with friends from time to time. This can result in children saying unkind things to one another. Most of these situations are quickly resolved and the children ‘make up’ after a short time, generally both being very sorry for the hurt they have caused one another. However, if the situation continues, this can become bullying in nature, and needs intervention to ensure that it stops. If you let us know of any incidents in school, then we will pick this up with the children concerned.
My child has fallen out with friends and is now being left out by a group of students. What should I do?
Deliberate ostracising (or leaving others out of a group) is a form of bullying and will be dealt with accordingly by the school. What if the bullying does not stop? Once we have dealt with an incident, we monitor the situation between the two parties for a short period. However, if you have evidence that the matter is not resolved, please contact the Form Tutor as soon as possible. If the bullying has continued, this would be taken as an even more serious matter. The vast majority of children realise, when challenged, that their behaviour is unacceptable. However, where children persist in making the wrong choices despite advice, warnings and consequences, then additional consequences may be applied in line with the school policy.
My child has received abusive messages on a social network site. What should I do?
It can be reported to the social network site. You can also report this to the police. You can also report it to the school and we can support you in dealing with it.
Will I be informed of the consequences given to the student who has bullied?
We will inform the parents that the student has been dealt with and a consequence has been issued; however, the details of this sanction will not be shared.
Should I speak to the parents/carers of the person bullying my child myself?
In our experience, this can often escalate rather than resolve the issue. We would advise that parents contact the school. However, matters outside school, e.g. evenings or weekends including anything via social media or mobile phones, can also be reported to the local Police.
My child has retaliated to being bullied by another student and is now being punished. How is this fair?
Retaliation is never acceptable; we don’t accept abuse or physical violence as a solution to a problem. If a child is being bullied, it must reported to the school so that appropriate action can be taken. We never advise students to take matters into their own hands as this can escalate the problem, or even develop into bullying itself.
Cyber-bullying is when a person or group of people use modern technology, such as the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to deliberately cause upset to someone by threatening, harassing, abusing or teasing.
What should my child do if they are the victim of cyber bullying?
Encourage your child to talk to you about what has been happening. Explain that you can help them to sort it out.
• Not to reply to any messages they receive, as this may encourage the bullies. Advise them not to retaliate. • Not to answer calls from withheld numbers or from numbers they do not recognise.
• Keep a copy of the abusive emails, texts or messages that they receive and when these were sent.
• Never to give out any personal details on the internet such as their real name, address, age or phone number. Even telling someone which school they attend can help that person find out information about them.
• Change their online nicknames or user ID to something different.
• Consider changing their mobile number and to only give the new number to close friends.
• Block any offending user where possible from websites.
• Discourage use of the internet in private spaces where adults are not present to monitor what is going on.
• Ensure your child does not set up social networking IDs with inappropriate personal pictures, ages and/or descriptions.
Who can I report cyber-bullying to?
• Report the abuse through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website
• Report the matter to the school and/or to the police depending on the circumstances (see below for guidance)
• Contact the service provider or host (e.g. the chatroom, the social network provider, or mobile operator) to inform them of what has happened, and get their advice on how to stop this happening again. The service provider may be able to block particular senders or callers (for landlines), or advise on how to change contact details, and potentially delete the accounts of those that are abusing the service.
How can we deal with cyber-bullying?
If cyber-bullying takes place in school, this will be dealt with in the same way as any other form of bullying in line with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy. Bullying is not acceptable.
If cyber-bullying is happening outside school ,e.g. texts, calls, or social networking communication, then it would still be helpful for the school to know as it can support.. If those involved are known/suspected, we would contact the parents of other children and let them know what has been alleged. Cyber-bullying is a form of harassment and thus a matter that can be passed to the police. The police would be the correct contact for concerns of ongoing harassment when children are out of school and in the care of their parents.
How can you help as a Parent?
Do check what your child is doing online to protect and support them. It is important that you talk with your child and understand the ways in which they are using the internet and their mobile phone. The internet is a ‘faceless’ area where people sometimes say or write things that they would not in face-to-face conversations. They may be a target or , although it may be uncomfortable to accept, you should be aware that sometimes children get caught up in cyber-bullying simply by not thinking about the consequences of what they are doing. You may find that your child has been involved in the cyber-bullying of others. Everyone needs to understand that the consequences of what they say or write online or by text are just as serious as those that they say directly to a person.
This is a matter which the school takes very seriously and thus we educate students about the damaging effects of this type of behaviour. Bullying and cyber-bullying are covered in PSHCE, English and Drama lessons and is a subject for assemblies and discussions in form time throughout the year.
What can I do to block nuisance calls, messages etc?
If images are involved in the cyber-bullying, these can be passed on to support an investigate, so like messages it is good to capture them.
However, it is important to ascertain if these might be illegal or raise child protection concerns. Indecent or sexual images of children (defined as people under the age of 18) are illegal to produce, circulate or possess in the UK. These include images that children have taken of themselves or their friends, using their mobile phone or other devices.
• Internet Watch Foundation, if the images are internet content (see www.iwf.org.uk).
• The local police, if illegal images have been taken of a child and circulated.
Similarly if there is a recording of a crime, e.g. assault on another child, contact the local police.
Contacts for mobile phone companies
• O2: firstname.lastname@example.org or 08705214000
• Vodafone: 191 from a Vodafone phone or 08700700191 (pay monthly) & 08700776655 (pay as you go)
• 3: call 333 from a 3 phone or 0870733033
• Orange: Call 450 on an Orange phone or 07973 100450.
• T-Mobile: Call 150 on a T-mobile phone or 08454 125000.
• Childline – free 24-hour helpline for children and young people. Tel: 0800 1111.
• Kidscape – run a telephone advice line exclusively for parents and carers giving advice
about bullying. Tel: 08451 205 204 (10am-4pm weekdays).