Bullying and Cyber Safety

Bullying
If you’re being bullied, the chances are that it’s making you feel unhappy, frightened and alone. Perhaps you feel that there’s something wrong with you, or that the bullying is somehow your fault. 

The good news is that it’s not your fault. Bullying can happen to anyone, at any time of life. Nobody deserves it, and nobody should have to put up with it.

What’s more, you’re certainly not alone. It is a sad fact that around one in every ten secondary school children is bullied every week. That’s an awful lot of people who probably feel just as scared, lonely and unhappy as you do.


It’s important to realise that bullying comes in many different forms. If you’re being bullied, you may not have cuts and bruises to show for it. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to feel any less hurt or frightened by the experience. 

A bully might target you by:

  • Hurting you physically – for example, by hitting, kicking or pushing you
  • Threatening you
  • Teasing you, or putting you down
  • Ignoring you, or deliberately leaving you out
  • Spreading rumours about you
  • Making jokes about you
  • Stealing your belongings
  • Forcing you to do things that you don’t want to do
  • Sending you abusive text messages or emails
  • Posting hurtful messages on sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Risks

  • If you are bullied at school, it’s going to make you more reluctant to attend. And if you miss school, you may fall behind with your work. This might affect your chances of passing your exams, and of getting a job in the future
  • Bullying affects confidence. If you are being bullied, you might have less self-confidence than you used to. This is only natural. But it needn’t last – and you can do something about it

Internet safety

The internet is a great tool for learning, and staying in touch with your friends. But it also contains a lot of information that may not be appropriate for young people. And, there are other hidden dangers you need to be aware of.

Risks

  • On the internet, it’s very easy for people to lie about who they are. Some adults use the internet to take advantage of young people, just like you. When you use chat rooms, you can never be sure who you’re really talking to, or what their real intentions are
  • Some websites contain information or images that can be upsetting or disturbing. These might be of a sexual nature, or intended to encourage eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Whatever information you post about yourself on the internet, there’s a chance that anyone will see it. What’s more, it might stay there forever
  • The same goes for photos and videos – if you put them on the internet, it’s possible that everyone will see them. If the pictures or videos are inappropriate, this could be very embarrassing. It may also affect your chances of getting into university, or getting a job in the future
  • Remember that anyone can post images or videos of you on the internet, if you give them the chance
  • If you share indecent pictures or videos of anyone under the age of 18, you could be breaking the law

Keeping yourself safe

Bullying

  • If you are being bullied, tell someone about it. This could be an adult, such as a parent or teacher, or it could be a friend
  • If the person you speak to doesn’t believe you, or doesn’t take any action, then tell somebody else. Don’t give up until you are taken seriously

Internet safety

  • Stay as anonymous as you can on the internet. Don’t put your phone number, home address or email address on any social networking sites
  • Be careful not to give too much information about yourself on the internet
  • Before you post pictures or videos on the internet, ask yourself: “Would I mind my Mum/Dad/teacher seeing this?” If you wouldn’t want them to see it, then don’t post it
  • Ask yourself the same question when you send images or videos to other people. You never know where they might end up
  • If you use chat rooms, and think you’re talking to someone who is pretending to be someone they’re not, tell an adult straight away
  • Don’t post indecent images of yourself, or anyone else, on the internet. You may get in trouble with the police

Where to get help

Dorset Safe Schools Team
Tel: 01305 221000

National anti-bullying campaign
Tel: 0207 3781446

For more information
Dorset anti-bullying website
www.dorsetforyou.com/bullying

Anti-bullying Alliance
www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Report illegal online activity and get more e-safety information at www.ceop.gov.uk

The South West Grid for Learning
www.swgfl.org.uk/Staying-Safe