Antibullying week – the stark facts
A recent survey by Ditch the Label showed some devastating facts around bullying:
- One fifth of young people have been a victim of bullying in the past year
- 1 in 3 people witnessed bullying in the past year
- Bullying has the biggest impact on people’s confidence – 86% said it had affected it
- 45% of people have experienced depression as a result of bullying
- And 1 in 3 people have had suicidal thoughts as a direct result of bullying
- Physical appearance is the number one reason why people bully
- 69% of people have been bullied through verbal abuse in the past year
- 62% were bullied by a classmate
These statistics show how prevalent bullying is and highlights the effects bullying can have on people, with direct links to the rise of depression, anxiety and even suicide.
Cyberbullying is on the increase
With the rise of technology, bullying carried out online has taken a sharp rise in recent years.
It is reported that half of teenagers have experience a form of cyber bullying, including having personal or embarrassing photos shared online. It is also reported that as many as 1/5 teenagers have been sent suggestive messages or pictures.
More alarmingly, only 1 in 10 children would tell their parents if they had been bullied online and less than 1/5 of cyberbullying cases are reported to the police.
What can schools do to help limit cyber bullying amongst their pupils?
As is reflected in changes to statutory requirements around teaching online safety in schools, we must educate people how to operate online and what to do if faced with something upsetting.
Children must be taught how to stay safe and how to use communication tools safely and responsibly.
Not only that, but we must educate them on being respectful and mindful users of the internet. This is a big focus in the latest Relationships Education curriculum (mandatory from September 2020), which emphasises the importance of caring friendships and respectful relationships.
Children learn and respond better to first-hand learning. Using an online safety platform such as DB Primary allows children to learn key online skills in a safe and secure environment. Fully moderated and complete with a golden whistle feature allowing children to flag anything they find upsetting; DB empowers children to learn best practise in an ever-growing digital world.
Children should be encouraged to share and communicate when they are faced with something upsetting both online and offline. Having trusted adults inside and outside of school who they can confide in is key to achieving this.
Not only that, but we must inform children about the effects of bullying and how a bully’s actions can affect the rest of someone’s life.
It’s not just children we need to educate
Parents and carers are often ignorant to the level of online exposure their children get. What can look like a harmless game or application can often have hidden channels embedded in it which aim to target the end user.
Parents need to arm themselves with information as well as taking an active interest in what their children are doing online. Taking an active interest in the games and resources a child is accessing means they are more likely to communicate if they come across something they shouldn’t.
Know the signs
Adults should be able to recognise the signs that someone might be being bullied, such as:
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Loss of interest in school and learning
- Sudden lack of social engagement
- Decreased self-esteem
- Unexplained injuries
- Lost items of clothing or personal items
Bullying isn’t going away, but it is changing form and with the introduction of new technologies, today’s digital learners are exposed to more sinister types of bullying and manipulation.
How can we help?
We help schools across the UK to educate their pupils in the core principles around online safety by using our online safety platform DB Primary.
Our products help schools meet the statutory guidance by:
- Meeting the online component of Relationships Education
- Aligning to objectives set out in the Education for a Connected World framework
- Meeting the requirements of Keeping children Safe in Education and the Computing Curriculum
- Providing an essential tool to ensure Rights Respecting Schools meet the needs of children in the digital age.
We also have an extensive portfolio of CPD accredited Professional Education Services, which focus on educating schools, staff, parents and pupils on all aspects of online safety.
If you would like more information around any of our products and services, please get in touch.