Comment: Tackling out of school bullying together
Thursday 23 April 2009
Over recent years, the Anti-Bullying Alliance
(ABA), the national authority on anti-bullying work with children
and young people based at NCB, has become increasingly aware of how
bullying in the wider community impacts on the wellbeing of
children and young people. Being bullied can have serious long-term
consequences for children and young people - it can affect their
self-esteem and their educational attainment.
When bullying takes place out of school, children and young
people may feel isolated or confused about who they can turn to for
help and advice. As adults we need to acknowledge our
responsibility to help create environments in which children and
young people can live, grow, play and learn. We need to let
children and young people know that we can offer this support.
To help us do this, Children's Secretary Ed Balls launched the
government's Safe from Bullying suite of guidance last week, aimed
at reducing bullying in the community. Disseminated by
organisations throughout England, including ABA, the guidance
recognises that bullying can take place in all educational and
recreational settings, as well as when children and young people
are moving around the community. At ABA we are looking forward to
supporting its dissemination and we will be doing so by extending
our regional networks to include practitioners working in a range
of community-based settings.
All bullying is unacceptable, no matter what kind or by whom,
and can only be successfully tackled through a zero tolerance
attitude and by the community as a whole, inside and outside
school. This year's Anti-Bullying Week takes place 16-20 November
and the theme is cyberbullying.
Chris Cloke, chair, Anti-Bullying Alliance, www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk