#5: To respect other peoples’ rights to an opinion
This is a no-brainer, yet statistics on bullying suggest that more needs to be done.
- 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools (2007).
- 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more (2007).
In the U.K. the statistics reveal an equally disturbing picture. In a 2016 survey carried out by Ditch the Label (a U.K. based anti-bullying charity), it was found that:
- 1.5 million young people (50%) were bullied in the year prior to the survey
- 145,800 (19%) of these were bullied EVERY DAY
- People who have been bullied are almost twice as likely to bully others
- Twice as many boys as girls bully (66% of males vs. 31% females)
Clearly, these figures are unacceptable and much, much more needs to be done to address bullying in schools.
I would suggest that anti-bullying initiatives must focus on education, not on more sanctions for students who bully.
The following strategies should be taken on by every school:
- The United Nations declared May 4th as ‘Anti-Bullying Day‘. What does your school do on May 4th? Consider holding a theme-based day with activities in which kids can get to know about each other’s cultures and preferences better and learn to appreciate diversity.
- Diversity, religious freedom, human rights and bullying education as part of a comprehensive PSHE curriculum at all levels of school (even up to and including pre-university students)
- Assigning student buddies
- Having an assigned member of staff act as a school counsellor
- Education on cyber-bullying and school-wide implementation of the S.M.A.R.T. acronym given below:
The U.K. government’s 2017 guidance on preventing and tackling bullying is also well-worth a read.
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