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Bullying information and support for parent/carers
It is always emotive for Parents/Carers when they find out that their child has been involved in a bullying incident. This is perhaps even more so when they are made aware that their child has been exhibiting bullying behaviour towards others.
One just needs to remember that bullying is not a person but rather a behaviour that anyone is capable of. The critical thing is to recognise this and to encourage some dialogue between yourself and your child to establish the facts. We have compiled some information and tips to help you to identify what bullying is and how to spot the signs.
Your child has told you that they are being bullied - what is next?
1. Stay calm and reassure your child that you will do everything you can to stop the bullying.
- Make contact with us immediately. Notify us of what is happening and ask us to put a support plan in place to support your child whilst the issue is being dealt with.
3. Consider speaking with your GP in the interim, if you feel your child’s physical or emotional health is being affected.
What to do and not to do
DON’T confront other parents or the child / young person about the behaviour. When emotions are running high, things can quickly get out of hand!
- DON’T take to social media to vent your anger! Making comments which could cause further harm or distress to another individual is a criminal offence Under the Malicious Communications Act and you could be visited by the Police! Remember the age of criminal responsibility in England is 10 years of age so this one applies to your children too! When information is out there, it’s out there!
- DON’T tell your child to fight back. This can result in an escalation of the problem and your child may then incur a sanction.
- DON’T tell your child to “Toughen up, lots of people get bullied, and you have to learn to deal with it!” There is always a power imbalance when a child is being victimised and adults need to intervene to redress the power imbalance
- DO contact us at school and ask to speak with the person who is responsible for tackling bullying. This member of staff will address the allegation of bullying and investigate the incident thoroughly.
- DO consider, if your child is experiencing bullying in the community because of a disability, if it could be a ‘Hate Crime’ and, if so if it needs to be reported to us in the first instance and then the Police if necessary.
- DO reassure your child and ask them what they think could be done to make them feel safer. Their ideas can then be shared and used to inform any future support plans
- DO screenshot any offending remarks that have been made on social media to provide evidence of the victimisation and keep a diary of events
- DO contact the police on 101 if your child has suffered a serious assault
- DO model a positive and considered approach to the problem (harder said than done, we know)! This will give your child an extra sense of security and reassurance.
If the bullying is happening online
Whether you are confident online or are not sure where to start here are some tips that might help you further:
Spend time with your children online, and have them show you their favourite sites. Speak to them about what they are doing on social media: Snapchat, Instagram and Whatsapp etc
- Speak to your child about staying safe online and teach your children “cyber ethics”
- Be computer savvy: use antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall, and keep them updated
- Agree on rules for using the Internet
- Teach your children to tell a parent, teacher or trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable about anything they’ve seen on a computer or online
- Keep communication flowing so your child or young person feels able to talk to you about whatever they are doing online
Further help and Support
Please rest assured that we take all allegations of bullying very seriously.
Feel free to look at our HAMD Anti-Bullying Policy
- Anti-bullying Alliance: an anti-bullying tool for parents and carers
- If you would like support and advice, you can talk to a family support worker at Bullying UK on their confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222.
- Kidscape is a small charity that provides information, training, and support for parents and children facing problems to do with bullying. Parent Advice Line: 07496 682785.
- Think you know - for advice on all things digital safety
- Internet Matters – for more information about cyberbullying and online safety
- Am I a bully? If you think your child is bullying others, this BBC guide may help them reflect on their behaviour
- Bullying Parents Guide to Support – YoungMinds
Anti-Bullying Week 2023
HAMD celebrated Anti Bullying Week 2023 in a number of ways.
Monday 13th October-all students and staff were encouraged to come into school wearing their odd socks.
The remaining week students were asked to perform acts of kindness as well as signing their own Anti-Bullying pledges. This was a resounding success and we had a number of students being extra kind in and around our school community. All participants received a certificate, rulers and wristbands.
The winning class was Y8C. They received a class prize of chocolates. We are determined to continue this trend and not just for a week.
Congratulations to them!