Today sees the start of Anti-Bulling Week, and a new poll shows that children in England still worry about being seen as ‘different’
Campaigners this week are urging schools to celebrate what makes pupils unique during Anti-Bullying Week (13-17 Nov) as new research reveals that 40% of children said they would hide aspects of themselves for fear of being bullied. In addition, 61% of those who would hide aspects of themselves said they would change the way they look to avoid being picked on.
More than 1,600 eight to 16 year olds were polled by the Anti-Bullying Alliance at the National Children’s Bureau. And while 96% believe it’s important to ‘be yourself’, over half of children (52%) worry about being seen as different from others. Worryingly, 64% of children polled have come across someone being bullied because they were different, with children in primary school only marginally less likely to have done so than those in secondary school, suggesting that bullying behaviour can start from an early age. The research also found that 41% of children would stay quiet if someone else was being bullied because they didn’t want to be bullied themselves.
During Anti-Bullying Week this year, children in schools across the country will be sending the message loud and clear that they are All Different, All Equal.
Even Anti-Bullying Week patron and children’s TV star Andy Day is getting children to celebrate their uniqueness by encouraging them to wear odd socks for the week, and raise money for anti-bullying charities.
“[Children] worry about many things that might make them ‘stand out’, including their appearance, disability, culture or religion,” says Martha Evans, coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance. “It is so important that we learn to celebrate the things that make us all different, and are clear that it is never OK to bully someone.
“We hope to provide a platform for children, teachers and parents, to raise awareness of what to do if you are being bullied or see it happening to someone else. We are delighted to be working on such a positive campaign.”
Find out how to get involved at anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/antibullyingweek, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #AntiBullyingWeek #AllDifferentAllEqual