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How Parents can identify bullying

Bullying can take lots of different forms and sometimes your child might not realise that what is happening to them is bullying. Children and young people can experience bullying related to race, religion or culture, Special Educational Needs or disabilities, appearance or health conditions, home circumstances, homophobic, sexist or sexual bullying. There is no occasion when bullying is acceptable and support is available to you and your child.

Bullying can include:

  • Physical – kicking, hitting. Pushing, taking and damaging belongings
  • Verbal – Name calling, taunting, mocking, making nasty comments or making threats
  • Emotional – leaving people out/ deliberately ignoring, gossiping, spreading rumours
  • Cyber Bullying – bullying using text messages/ phone calls, picture/video clips on phones, instant messenger, email, chatrooms, websites /blogs

If your child is being bullied

Comfort them and offer your support, give them advice on ways to keep safe. It is never a good idea to get into a fight with the bully yourself or to try to “toughen up” your child. Encourage them to walk away or try and stay around friends and avoid walking home alone.

Encourage them to keep a record of what is happening in a diary and to save texts and malicious emails and web pages.

Schools and youth facilities will have an anti-bullying policy, encourage them to find out about it and talk to a member of staff. If they are reluctant you could find out on their behalf.

Keep good communication channels with the school.

If your child is a bully

They may be embarrassed to admit that they are doing it. Encourage them to try to stop and to think about how their victim feels.

Talk to the school's anti-bullying co-ordinator or parent support adviser.

Help your child to understand the possible consequences of bullying, they could find that the police become involved or that they are excluded from school. They may find that they lose the respect of friends and family. If they receive a police reprimand, final warning or court appearance this could impact on any future career choices.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has grown over the last few years. It can happen over text messages, MSN, emails chat rooms and social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook, My Space or Twitter. Because it is so easy to remain anonymous this form of bullying can be much harder to stop. Setting up “hate” sites increases the number of people that are involved.

If reporting cyberbullying to a teacher or youth worker doesn’t improve the situation you can also report serious cyberbullying to the police. Always keep any evidence of cyberbullying such as web pages, blogs or texts to prove what is happening.

Useful links and contact numbers

Hate Crimes Officer - 01384 812537

Victim Support - 01384 241511

Dudley Youth Service - 01384 815174

Dudley Counselling Service - 01384 814239  (term time only)

West Midlands Police 0345 113 5000

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