Thursday, 6 April 2017


Today I read an interview by a talented author in which she mentioned being bullied at school. She was a pupil at the same school as Steve Backshall who was also the victim of bullying whilst he was a pupil there both by teachers and fellow students. 

Bullying is in the news daily.

When the Guardian shared this article on Facebook the comments from people who had been bullied decades ago flowed.

Bullying does not build characters it destroys them.

You might think "They've done alright now" but the fact they mention it 30 years on suggests otherwise.

Bullying is, in my opinion, an inevitable consequence of schooling. Too many people of the same age jostling for supremacy is not natural or a normal state of human interaction in my opinion.

It happened 30 years ago. It happens now. I see little to suggest we are heading to a bully free future.

Many children in England commit suicide every week due to being bullied. If your teenage child is being bullied there is, in my opinion, a very real risk that they will kill themselves. The statistics tell us that and, if anything I would suspect the official numbers under report the problem.

Bullying is not confined to school premises. So called Cyber bullying and locations like the school bus are also targeted.

The anti bullying charities make noise about being against bullying but they can't look outside the framework of classes, teachers... it is such an acknowledged part of our status quo that this newspaper has a dedicated page for articles about it.

Is school worth dying for? School is not compulsory. You can remove your children and home educate them. Some people might suggest this is a sign of weakness and that staying away from school shows the bullies they've won. I disagree. The complex dynamics of bullying suggest that bullies themselves are often being bullied by someone else. The problem is often the institutional nature of school and the type of relationships its culture promotes.

The legacy of bullying lasts a life time. The bones broken by sticks and stones heal but the scars left by words last a lifetime.

If you are not making progress resolving a bully situation there are alternatives. Remember teachers can be involved in bullying too, the person your child trusts might not be helping them.  Your child does not have to go to school.

For more information about deregistering your child from school and Home Education click here.

Over the past ten years I have met many children who have blossomed once they have been removed from school. The only regret of their parents is that they didn't home educate sooner.

First published on The Gallivanters March 15 2015

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