Don’t stand by, Stand up Unite Against Bullying and Make Your College a Bully-Free Zone
Published on: 2021-10-29 08:11:21
Sadly, bullying is a problem that can affect people of all ages and in all environments, and College is no exception. Here at The British College, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying. And so we got in touch with the people at Happy Minds to ask them for advice about how to unite against bullying and make sure that TBC is a bully-free zone.
It is important to understand the different types of bullying that can take place. Bullying doesn’t have to be physical for it to be a problem and for you to report it.
Physical: The most obvious form of intimidation is physical. This can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling - or making threats to do any of these things.
Verbal: Verbal bullying often accompanies physical behaviour but can also be done with no actual contact. This can include name-calling, spreading rumours, and persistent teasing.
Emotional: Closely related to these two types of bullying is emotional. A bully may deliberately exclude you from a group activity for example, such as a party or school outing.
Discriminatory: This is when you are bullied because of your race, gender, sexuality, disability, or religion - and can take many forms such as slurs, mocking, and gestures.
Sexual: This can range from offensive comments to abusive language and unwanted physical contact.
Cyberbullying: When anyone uses the internet or social media to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass, or target another student.
It is also important to be able to recognise when someone else is being bullied, as they may need support in getting help and reporting the problem.
Emotional Signs: Look for changes in sleeping and eating patterns, mood swings, becoming withdrawn, unreasonable or aggressive behaviour and refusing to talk.
Self-Destructive Signs: These include acts such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Physical signs: If a student has unexplained bruises, cuts, or scratches, is often unusually hungry, or frequently has missing or damaged belongings.
School signs: When a student doesn’t want to go to school, skips class, their grades begin to fall, or they change their route to College and seem frightened.
Other signs: If a student is often alone or excluded from groups, they are a frequent target for teasing or mimicking, or feel too frightened or insecure to contribute in class.
It is also key to avoid some of the pitfalls when it comes to dealing with bullies and dealing with your own emotions when experiencing bullying.
Recognise the red flags: Have a discerning eye for recognising the red flags that signal that a student or fellow peer might be a bully.
Let go of ‘Victim Thinking’: Remember that being a victim of bullying does not define who you are as a person.
Be aware of bullying hot spots: Keep an eye out for hotspots at College where bullying is more likely to occur. These areas might include bathrooms, the parking lot, or social spaces.
Put the responsibility for bullying where it belongs: Understand that bullying is a choice made by the bully, they are completely responsible for their actions.
Be assertive, not aggressive: Assertive people stand up for themselves in a strong and confident manner. An aggressive person uses intimidation and yelling to get their way.
Act confident: Appearing confident is sometimes easier than having to confront a bully and tell them to stop. Show them that you are not afraid.
There are many reasons why someone may be scared to ask for help. It is important to understand and respect these if you want to support them.
- Bullying can make people feel helpless.
- People may fear backlash from the bully.
- Students fear being judged for being weak as bullying can be a humiliating experience.
- Victims may already feel socially isolated.
- They may fear being rejected by their peers.
So, if you are experiencing bullying or believe that you may know about any bullying happening at the College, please report it immediately to Student Services or any member of staff with whom you feel comfortable. And if you would like support during this time, remember the wellbeing unit is always here to help.
By Happy Minds
Edited by Marney Ryan
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