Did you know that today marks the start of Anti-Bullying Week?
Campaigners are urging schools to use the week to celebrate the things that make pupils unique. The Anti-Bullying Alliance, based at the National Children's Bureau, has published the results of a poll of more than 1,600 young people in England aged between 8 and 16 years old. The poll found that over half (52%) worry about being seen as ‘different’ from others, and 40% would hide or change aspects of themselves for fear of being bullied.
And while the majority of children (96%) think it is important to be yourself, of the two-fifths of children who would conceal something about themselves, 61% said they would hide or change the way they look to avoid being bullied.
64% of children polled have come across someone being bullied for being ‘different’ from others, yet more than a third (36%) say they don’t learn enough in school about what to do if it happens to them
This year, Anti-Bullying Week has the theme ‘All Different, All Equal’ and the campaign's patron, Andy Day is getting schools and early years settings to celebrate what makes us all unique by asking children to wear odd socks to school on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week (13th Nov) to celebrate ‘Odd Socks Day’.
Martha Evans, Coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said:
“This poll shows that some children are worried about being themselves for fear of bullying. They worry about many things that might make them ‘stand out’ including their appearance, disability, culture, or religion. 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.
“Anti-Bullying Week is sending the message we are ‘All Different, All Equal’ and 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 being celebrated by pupils, parents, schools and anti-bullying organisations across the country.”
Find out how to get involved with Anti-Bullying Week at: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/antibullyingweek or join in on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #AntiBullyingWeek #AllDifferentAllEqual.