Recently a friend contacted me asking for advice on how to deal with a bully. After she’d informed me what had happened I suggested that she should tell a teacher but even though her school has the same “tell the teachers” anti-bullying policy in place as mine, telling an adult seemed to be the last thing she wanted to do.
An anti-bullying policy is there to help protect us from bullies and to ensure our safety, but if there are people around us who are still being bullied what exactly does the policy do? It seems that the bullies have outsmarted the anti-bullying policy.
It could be that the victims are too scared to tell their teachers but there simply isn’t another option.
My friend told me that in a desperate attempt to stop the bully, she’d ignored them in the hope that they would leave her alone; but silence is the bully’s greatest weapon and they had just carried on, trying to get her to retaliate.
Maybe as a victim you have decided that the tables should turn and you are going to fight back. But this can backfire and you could end up being the one in trouble.
If only stopping a bully was as easy as it was in primary school days where all you had to do was give them your chocolate biscuit in exchange for a bit of peace and quiet. Unless your bully is a chocolate fanatic then the primary school way probably won’t work.
Which leads us to our last resort. Telling a teacher may seem impossible but get rid of the “im” and suddenly it’s possible, because it’s not the bully who has outsmarted the anti-bullying policy, in fact it’s the other way round.
We’ve all been there at some point, feeling alone and useless, but we’re the ones who are in control. One small chat with a teacher and the teasing and tormenting has stopped.
An anti-bullying policy may seem pointless but it’s there for a reason even if we don’t see it at the time. All we ever needed was a voice. Because, despite there being rules in order to prevent the behaviour, it is up to us to stop it and to take a stand.
It’s what happens afterwards that is sometimes the problem. The bully has gone, the teasing has stopped but you are all alone. The bully may have turned all of your friends against you and left you isolated.
But “friends” who abandon you when you ask for them are the ones you don’t need and, although the anti-bullying policy has a whole section on what to do after you’ve been bullied, it doesn’t have a section on how to make new friends. The thing is it doesn’t need to as it lets teachers give you continuous support if you want it. The making new friends part, that’s up to you, and it’s not as scary as you think.
So if you are being bullied use some courage and take a stand. It will be worth your while.